Recently we surveyed the New Tech Northwest community to see how people are finding tech jobs with our local companies. Out of the 360 people who responded, we discovered that an overwhelming majority (90 percent) of Seattle tech workers attended a networking event in the last six months. The study found that 77 percent find new employers and jobs at networking events and 70 percent said it is easier to make a new connection at a networking event than on LinkedIn. For the more than half (55 percent) that said they are planning to look for different employment in the next year, making these valuable, new connections could not be more important.
Finding your dream job in Seattle’s large and evolving tech landscape can be difficult. Networking removes many of the barriers associated with looking for and applying to jobs online or connecting with a recruiter. If you can shake someone’s hand and get to know them face-to-face you stand a better chance of making a meaningful connection. Start with a ‘give first’ attitude of asking what they’re up to and how you can help and watch the conversation instantly go deeper.
Many of our attendees who were looking for a job have shared with me that when they apply for jobs online they often don’t receive any response and feel that their resume went into a black hole. The digital age is in full swing, yet workers still prefer live networking. More than 70 percent felt that networking is as important as maintaining a LinkedIn profile. Nearly 70 percent agree that networking helps grow their skill set or potential, and a larger group (75 percent) made an important connection (employer, peer, mentor, other) while networking.
Tech workers also feel fortunate to be in the region; 80 percent value the diversity of employers or job opportunities in the Northwest. In fact, Seattle was recently ranked among the top three cities in the nation for jobs by Bloomberg.
As far as New tech goes, we want everyone to walk away from one of our networking events with two or more new contacts, so we make time to make our events fun with structured opportunities to connect with quality people. When you do networking correctly at any event you can meet people who may turn into an acquaintance, job referrer or friend. The important part is that you’ve shown up and put yourself out there.