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Why a personal referral could be the key to new job success

Securing your network and cultivating relationships with others in your industry could give you a significant advantage in the job application process, writes Amply's Aoibhinn McBride



Professional networking fills most people with dread.

Unfortunately, it’s an unnecessary evil if you want to give yourself the best chance to secure a new job in tech as personal connections really count.

That’s according to job listing platform Indeed. Recent data compiled by its UK-based data analysts found that although 80 per cent of all UK tech role applications in 2023 were made in the traditional way through its site, these applicants only accounted for 50 per cent of all tech hires.

This means personal referrals hold considerable currency and having a foothold in your professional network is essential.

Securing your network

This year has seen the return to office work along with in-person networking events.

So, how can you use these events to build up your professional network and bolster your chances of getting a personal referral further down the line?

For starters, prepare an elevator speech of sorts so you come to each event prepared.

Walking into a room full of strangers and introducing yourself ad nauseum is a daunting prospect, but it’s important to remember that networking events are all about work and everyone attending has networking in mind so small talk will naturally centre around this subject.

However, having a well-rehearsed elevator speech in mind will ensure you are able to answer questions about yourself and your career without stumbling over your words or leaving vital information out.

Follow up

And don’t be afraid to follow up with people you’ve talked to after the event has taken place.

Introducing yourself to people is one thing but maintaining connections is another, so ensure you swap details or at the very least, make a note of their full name and the company they work for.

Away from in-person events, reaching out to university alumni who are now working within the industry is another great way to boost your professional network and stay in the loop.

It’s important to note that while networking will help you stay on top of industry insights, it won’t guarantee a personal referral or a job offer.

However, if you do see a job you want to apply for, establishing if someone from your professional network is connected to the company can help strengthen your application or even steer your application in the right direction.

Ready to start your search? The AltFi Job Board features thousands of jobs across tech, including the three examples below.

Senior Python Developer — Sanderson PLC, Glasgow

Sanderson is partnering with a leading Glasgow-based fintech company to find aSenior Python Developer to join its growing tech team. The team is spearheading multiple greenfield initiatives with a focus on low-latency solutions and advanced analytics and the successful candidate will be tasked with leveraging their strong Python and Django skills to drive innovation and efficiency. Get more information here.

.NET Developer – Fintech Start-Up — Manchester, Noir Consulting, Manchester

Do you want to be part of a new, technically challenging project and to be involved in the creation of a new application from scratch? Noir Consulting is hiring a.NET Developer to join a fintech start-up based in Manchester. While you will need to have experience in .NET, .NET Core / ASP.NET MVC, C# and SQL Server, the new hire will be able to avail of training in .NET 7, JavaScript, React, Angular 14, Microservices, MongoDB, Vue.js, TypeScript, Azure, AWS, Web API 2, Entity Framework, Node.js, Elasticsearch, Agile, TDD, BDD, Scrum, Kanban and SQL Server 2022 if needed. See the full job description here.

Senior Cloud / Systems Engineer — Fintech, Client Server, London

Are you a talented Senior Cloud / Systems Engineer who is proficient in Python and has a strong knowledge of AWS? Client Server is working with a rapidly expanding software company that uses cutting-edge technologies to build fintech solutions. In this role you will develop and deploy cloud-based infrastructure for the core trading analytics platform so will need a good grounding in systems engineering, with a strong knowledge of Linux OS and a good level of Python coding skills. View additional details here.

Secure your next role in tech today via the AltFi Job Board

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