You finished your welding classes and graduated from trade school. Now it’s time to start your welding job search.
Where will you look? Better yet, who will you meet? More than 70% of jobs are typically found through networking.1
But what about social distancing? You have digital options.2,3,4
Check out these 3 online platforms for connecting with other skilled trades workers and employers. Plus, get 10 tips for networking like a pro.
The Importance of Networking for Finding a Job
You could spend hours on online job boards, sending out your resumes and cover letters into the digital abyss.1 But you’d still be missing an entire job market.5
Known as the “hidden job market,” networking can help you find the jobs that are never even advertised. The jobs discovered by word of mouth from former co-workers, friends and old bosses, or filled by employee referrals.5
The bigger your network, the better your chances of finding new job opportunities.5
So, how can you meet other welders and potential welding employers? In the past, you could attend events for welding school graduates, such as welding trade shows.5 But, due to the health crisis, many in-person events have been cancelled or may be cancelled, depending on CDC and government guidance.6
The good news is, we’re more digitally connected than ever, and you have plenty of ways to network without ever setting foot in a meeting venue: professional welding organizations, apps and social networking platforms designed specifically for skilled tradespeople.2,3,4,5
2 Skilled Trades Networking Apps
In medieval times, a “guild’ was an association of craftsmen of the highest caliber.7 In 2020, “Gyld” is an app for tradespeople at the top of their game—or working their way there.2
Available at the App Store and Google Play, Gyld allows you to show case your welding skills, certifications and projects.2
Completing your profile on Gyld allows you to be found for jobs. What kind of jobs? Typically, those outside the scope of a company’s in-house team.2
If you’re already working on a job and need to ask a fellow tradesman or woman how to troubleshoot an issue, simply open the app and start collaborating.2
2. Trade Hounds
“A free mobile app for the hardworking tradespeople building America,” Trade Hounds boasts a community of 150,000+ skilled tradespeople.3
Similar to Gyld, Trade Hounds is a place to show off your work and skills, find projects and network with other welders.3
Plus, live updates from across the nation, photo sharing, post commenting and location sharing can give you an overview of the industry while interacting with it in real time.3
The Trade Hounds app is free and available at the App Store for iPhone only.8
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Social Networking Platform for Tradespeople
If you’re looking to social network within the construction industry, then check out Hard Hat Hunter. It’s an online hub for employers, job seekers, employees, educational organizations and industry associations.4
Geared toward networking, growth and safety, Hard Hat Hunter is a place to post jobs, share photos, publish safety articles or simply talk shop.4
You can also find helpful blogs on the site, such as “COVID-19 Jobsite Best Practices” or “Railroad Crossing Safety.”9
10 Networking Do’s and Don’ts
Now you know where to digitally mingle, but what about how?
Keep these social networking do’s and don’ts in mind before logging on to your skilled trades app or platform:
- Don’t complain about your job, or lack of one.
- Don’t make fun of people, jobs or job offers.
- Don’t post your political opinions or rants.
- Don’t lie about your welding training, skills or experience.
- Don’t publish things you might regret.10
- Do fill out your profile completely.
- Do be your professional self.
- Do spell check your profile and posts.11
- Do reciprocate instead of only asking for favors.
- Do research companies before reaching out to their hiring managers.12
Consider Traditional Online Platforms Too
Skilled trades apps and social networks may be a fast track to meeting people in your industry, but don’t forget to check out traditional platforms too. LinkedIn for welders can serve as yet another avenue for networking and, hopefully, uncovering leads on potential jobs.5