People are waking up to the fact that advertised vacancies/jobs are few and far between. Even in the boom when the daily newspapers were twice the size because of the supplements choc a bloc with job ads it was still only a fraction of the true amount of job openings out there.
That's because in any economy, up to 65% of all jobs are found through networking or word of mouth. This always horrifies job seekers when I tell them and most people's reactions are 'well I'm stuffed because i haven't got a network of powerful people/ decision makers.'
(Actually I really don't like the term 'networking'. It sounds stuffy and implies nobby hob nobbing, when what I refer to is simply chatting to people, but in a purposeful way.)
People immediately doubt this statistic and wonder why they have never read about it. Well if you think about it the media relies heavily on advertising revenue from job posts and as advertised jobs only account for 15% of jobs out there, it's not really in the media's interest to point out what a low hit rate it has.
You can see this statistic in action for yourself. If you ask any group of 10 people how they found their current job, chances are 6 of them will tell you that somebody told them about the job or referred them.
The good news is it isn't insurmountable to create a decent network and to achieve that in a matter of weeks. The bad news is that it does entail getting yourself out there, looking up people of you may have ignored or forgot to stay in touch with and going to events, feigning an upbeat attitude when you are probably really cheesed off with the jobhunt. This is why lots of people don't bother with networking, and others get tire of the process if they don't see an immediate tangible outcome, dismissing it as a tenuous impenetrable old boys club.
Effective networking means asking people you know to put ou in touch with people they know (who you don't currently know) and having a well thought out reason to encourage them to do so. This creates a snowball effect,and if you ask those new acquaintances to put you in touch with people they know, you can clock up to 100 new contacts in as little as 6 weeks. I recommend 12 weeks to get a good ole network going.
The key to productive networking is always having something to offer and a good helping of graciousness and guts helps.
Lots more people are networking than last year. You have only to view the massive increase in usage of sites such as linked in to observe the sheer amount of connecting going on. I'm not a big fan of online social networking, and I don't think spending loads of hours online gets anyone in front of an employer but I do think it's fantastic for seeing who's connecting with who and as a platform to get your initial address book going.
The best networking activities mean face contact, not facebook contact. And there is a foolproof way to network that won't embarrass you or the other person.
Which I will disclose quite soon.....