Many successful job hunters out there will tell you that the reason they landed their sweet new gig was because of someone they know. Maybe it was an inside lead about an unlisted job opening, or an outside referral through a business client, or a friend of a friend who’s mom works in HR.
You might be asking, how comes these serendipitous events don’t happen to me? The answer is simple – it’s because you don’t know enough people.
So now it’s on you to host your own networking event to increase your job hunting odds. Here are 4 steps on doing just that.
4 Steps to Host Your Own Networking Event
Step 1: Find a Suitable Location
A great place to host a networking event is an after-work bar or restaurant, preferably one that’s not too crowded or noisy. You’ll want to be able to easily navigate your way across the room to meet new people, order drinks, and not have to scream over loud music about why you are a good hire. Alternative choices include coffee shops, outdoor public spaces, and parks.
Step 2: Get a Deal
Targeting commercial spaces that are usually slow during weekday happy hours to host your event can really make a difference. You may be able to get a food or drink discounts, first dibs on prime corner locations or private rooms, or even a custom menu created for the occasion. The location wins by having a busier happy hour than normal and you win by offering something special to attract a bigger audience.
You don’t have to pay for the food, just make the discounts available to those that are part of your group. And instead of everyone using wristbands to let the bar know who gets the discount, make the attendees show your business card to the waiter or bartender instead. Talk about getting noticed!
Step 3: Have a Targeted Audience
Your networking event should be targeted towards a certain industry, major, or job role. You don’t want to invite all job hunters under the sun, but instead a niche audience of at least 15 people that have similar characteristics and career interests. Sure, you may be inviting all your potential competitors for open jobs, but you are also getting closer to contacts that you may be able to leverage down the road. Remember, it’s who you know, right?
Step 4: Get the Recruiters
Recruiters are always looking for new leads and talented candidates. Try to get at least 1 recruiter for every 10 people you have at your event, and make sure each recruiter comes from a different company. The reason for this is that most recruiting companies share resumes amongst their colleagues, so it’s best to spread your campaign in as many different offices as possible. Again, this is all so more people know about you and your career goals.
If you do all the above and host a successful networking event, you’ll be the go-to person for referrals, recommendations, and linking contacts in your town. It’ll just be a matter of time before you get your sweet new gig….all because of someone you know.
Alan Corey is the well-recognized author of “The Subversive Job Search” and “A Million Bucks by 30”. Alan’s fun approach to job hunting, wealth building, and personal finance have made him a favorite author for readers looking for fresh and unique career and finance advice.
Featured photo by beyrouth