Networking is a wise way of landing a job in management consulting. By expanding your circle through joining organizations and attending activities, you’ll will encounter key people who can help you in the recruitment process. Continue reading this post and realize the relevance of networking in pursing a consulting career.
The concept of networking all started with man’s gregarious nature. Nowadays, it connotes a different meaning in various settings. In computer science, it’s the act of linking two or more units in a specific area for data sharing. In business, it happens when like-minded people build relationships and act upon a business together. For management consulting applicants like you, it’s one way of getting the dream job.
Benefits of Having a Wide Network
Your network can give you either of the following:
Consulting vacancies are normally not published on newspapers or posted on job boards. Recruitment is sometimes facilitated through university or college events. More often than not, assessment of experienced candidates is conducted when they get recommendations from the firm’s existing employees. Hence, the more people you interact with, the more updated you are with job openings, the more chances you can apply and be assessed for the position.
Recruiters receive piles of resumes for a single position only. For instance, in top management consulting firms like Booz and BCG, candidates have a small probability of getting hired due to the large number of qualified applicants. However, if you get a credible recommendation from somebody in your network, the employer will more likely bank on your competencies.
Some people within your network might be job providers themselves. If they need your services or expertise, they can simply tap you for help. At times, you find a business partner in your network too. You can plan for a venture on putting up a quaint coffee shop or on providing management consulting services to local companies. The possibilities are endless.
Widening Your Network
Every day is an opportunity to add more people in your network. It just depends on how you maximize your time and deal with the people you meet along the way. Below are three proven ways on how to improve your network for a management consulting position.
Sociable people tends to have a wider network because it’s their nature to reach out and befriend others. Friendliness paves ways for two people to establish rapport between them, build trust and comfortably exchange information. This characteristic isn’t difficult to develop at all. It usually begins with the habit of smiling, followed by sincerity and kindness, and ends with a high five.
Join Clubs and Organizations
Being an active member of a club or an organization allows you to meet more people and make meaningful connections. As you consistently participate in the activities, you’ll get to know more about your new found friends, including their hobbies, profession and even their circles. When you start sharing your own world, they will also know that you’re particularly interested in management consulting. They might be able to help you land a job in that field.
Many consulting firms also facilitate on-campus activities to get in touch with potential applicants. Stay updated with your school career programs to maximize that opportunity. On those events, make it a point to dress professionally, meet consultants and talk with them. Ask them well-thought open-ended questions that can start your discussion. Don’t forget to introduce your name and ask for a business card. End the conversation with a firm handshake.
Explore LinkedIn to Your Advantage
Human Resources Departments have also shifted from using traditional ways of employee selection to paperless virtual recruitment. As a proof, many job advertisements are now posted on global marketplaces. For instance, LinkedIn, a popular professional networking site, is often used for hiring purposes nowadays. Many companies believe it’s an efficient and effective way of contacting candidates and filling vacant positions in their company.
To increase the chance of being contacted by recruiters on LinkedIn, complete and update your profile regularly. It’s your way of assuring them that you’ll reply to their message should they contact you. On that site, you can also join circles and connect with people in the same field. Be tactful in dealing with your virtual contacts. To keep your credibility, maintain a professional image.
Maintaining a Good Network
Establishing a connection with a person may be easy but maintaining it takes more effort. To help you keep the network you’ve started, here are three tips.
Build a Stronger Relationship
Do not use your network for a management consulting position as a means to an end. Your contacts deserve to be treated personally and sincerely. Regardless of the job opportunities they bring in, take time to communicate with them, update each other’s whereabouts through chat, call or email, and enjoy their company. Have fun listening to their wonderful stories and crazy ideas.
Never forget to drop by and express gratitude for any favor they do for you. Avoid the mistake of disappearing like a bubble once you get their referral or recommendation. If you get the job, update them from time to time about how things are going. This will send them the message that you value their assistance.
Treat Kindness as a Two-way Street
The golden rule prevails. If you want assistance, you should extend some help as well. If you hear vacancies and opportunities that suit any of your contacts’ personality, inform them. They will certainly appreciate your effort.