Ever heard the phrase 'it's not what you know, it's who you know'? That's why networking works. We're here to guide you around the hidden jobs market with help from your friends.

Interviewee David sitting speaking to off-camera interviewer

Why you need to network

If you're not networking, you could be missing out on lots of job opportunities. 

Employers with a vacancy are more likely to approach someone they know or know of first. It's convenient and they already trust them. 

If that does not work, they might ask their contacts for suggestions. A recommendation could mean they find someone before you'd ever see a vacancy advertised.

Build up your network and it could be your name that's suggested. 

5 networking tips for job hunters

Networking can be a scary-sounding concept. But it's easier than you might think. Try these tips and get started. 

1. Ask for a referral

This could be a current employer, a teacher or tutor for example. Even if they cannot help you with your job hunt, they might know someone who can. Ask if they can suggest contacts and could put you in touch.


2. Try people you know

Family, friends, former employers, former teachers - tell them you're looking for a job. They could help or know someone you can get in touch with.


3. Find some events

Look for networking exhibitions, events and fairs, talks and workshops based round your ideal job. Introduce yourself to as many people as you can and ask if you can keep in touch. We've got some top tips on how to make the most of those events.


4. Strike up a conversation

Even out with events, you’re meeting new people every day. You never know where a chat will lead.


5. Be positive

Tell the people you meet at these events about your goals and ambitions. Talk about your strengths. Inspire them to help you.

Getting experience

Remember that building experience also lets you grow your network at the same time. Taking up a volunteering placement or doing some work experience will give you new contacts as well as new skills. Look for opportunities which could help you meet people in the types of jobs you want to do.