How a Job Seeker Can Stand Out: Power of Networking


The project management profession is becoming more recognised and accepted, globally. This has also led to an increase in the number of persons seeking for job or career opportunities in the world of project management.

However, with the lack of job opportunities which is at a higher rate in developing economies, project management job seekers need to be creative and leverage the power of networking in their job search.

As a project management job seeker, I will share with you how you can leverage the power of networking to crack the job market and find your way on the inside track. Here are some strategies:

Create a List of the Industries and Jobs That Might Best Utilise Your Project Management Skills:
Project management is a skill that can be applied across all industries, but each industry also has its own challenges in terms of how the skills can be practically applied. Therefore, try and create a list of industries that you think would best suit your project management career. After that, based on your education level, knowledge and experience, include the various project management positions that you would be of interest to you in each of those industries. This “targeted list” of industries will help identify the organisations or companies and people that are key to getting your desired job.

Get Connected with Local Project Management Professionals:
There are a lot of project management professionals in your country. As a PM job seeker, you need to get connected with some of them, most especially those who are involved in the industries of your choice or share relevant information about the profession. Use them as your “eyes” and “ears” to stay abreast with your local industry. Sometimes, I search the word “project manager” or “nigeria project manager” on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or even Goggle. Then, I request for connection, follow or contact those whom I think are of more interest to me. Connecting and networking with such persons can land you your dream job. Let your profile be clear that you are a “fresh graduate”, a “job seeker” or someone who is “open to new opportunities” because they might know someone who knows someone that can offer you a job.

Get Connected with Persons Who Work in Organisations or Companies of Your Interest:
You may or may not agree with me that some of the job openings on these online and traditional job advertisement platforms are not real. Even though some might be real, the companies advertising them might have already identified someone to fill in that position. Then you might ask: Why do companies post open jobs only after a hire has been identified? The practice is legal and ubiquitous, but frustrating for job-seekers, who don’t realize they’re applying for phantom or ghost positions.

So how can a job seeker know if a particular job is real or not, or if the company is looking forward to hiring? Solution: Leverage the power of networking. Use the internet, social media and other traditional means to get connected with people who work in a company that you would like to work for. They will be among the first to know when the company is hiring or if a particular job advert from the company is real. Be honest with any person you connect with in the company and let the person know your true intentions.

Search and Connect with Hiring Managers and Recruiting Firms:
Some organisations outsource their job search to recruiting firms and most these firms have an active company page or profile on LinkedIn. Search on LinkedIn for recognised and reputable recruiting firms operating in your country, join their company pages and also connect with some of their employees. You can send each a “thank you” message for accepting your invitation to connect and make sure you include your reason(s) for wanting to connect with them. You should also contribute or comment on discussions on their company pages so as to make your profile active and visible.

Opportunity Hiring:
Irrespective of the fact that some of the job openings been advertised might not be real or available, it won’t hurt you to respond to some of these job openings because some companies do what we call “opportunity hiring”. That is, they create specific job openings to lure or keep profiles of promising individuals or best talents. They do this so that when jobs do open in the company, they already have a handy pool of candidates.

Attend Project Management Events:
Keep in touch with project management professionals and hiring managers in the industry by attending project management events. Such events are likely to attract key contacts in the project management industry. And when you attend such event, do not make the mistake of meeting with other unemployed people. Seek and connect with those who can help your PM job hunt.

It’s not illegal for a company to forgo publicly posting an open position although many HR departments require positions to be posted. And even if the company do publicise the the job position, the hiring managers may already have a candidate in mind.

In a job market like today’s, which has few openings and many applicants, more positions are filled by word-of-mouth, so as a job seeker, you should always be making NEW connections.

P.S. To properly leverage on the power of networking, build good relationships and attract good job offers through your network, you have to GIVE first. In giving, you will receive. And what do I mean by that? Enrol for my FREE 8-Day Email Course on “How to Attract Good Job Offers Without Submitting Your CV to any Company” and I will explain it all to you. Click here to enrol!

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