atWork Australia

jobactive | Disability Employment Services | NDIS | atWork Australia

In the modern world of technology, most people turn to the internet and the various job searching platforms when they are looking for work. Most of the time, it is generally done on the go; when we have a few spare minutes, while waiting for an appointment, sitting on a train, or laying in bed. We pull out our smart phones and begin to scroll through the vacancies in the location and industry we have outlined. However, it is estimated that approximately 70 per cent of jobs are not advertised, they are promoted by word-of-mouth and through personal networks. Therefore, it is essential for mature age people seeking work to develop strategies to build their networking skills.


What does networking involve?


Networking involves building personal connections with people, so we can then benefit and leverage opportunities to help us progress in our career. Networking can be done in person, online, by phone calls or in writing. When networking, it is important to be able to confidently communicate your skills, experience and the value you can bring to an organisation. Like any other skill, networking skills are developed overtime and by consistently participating in networking activities. atWork Australia regularly host First Steps to Success, which bring together community organisations and local businesses to give atWork Australia clients an opportunity to network and learn about opportunities in the area. This allows mature aged people seeking work to develop their networking skills in a safe and supportive environment. You can see the full range of supports that atWork Australia offers to assist clients to build capacity and progress towards employment here.


10 networking tips for mature age people seeking work


  1. Identify the jobs and companies you are after


Before you start networking, you need to determine what types of jobs or the companies you would like to work for. When you’re in a networking environment, people are going to ask, what do you do or what do you want to do? It is important that you can confidently respond to these questions, then people can offer guidance or suggest possible next steps. A response such as, I don’t know, restricts the conversation and limits the amount of advice someone can offer. atWork Australia have dedicated Job Coaches to support people seeking work to identify suitable career paths, this information will be desirable when discussing our goals and ambitions at networking events. You can read more about atWork Australia’s Job Coaches here.


  1. Attend industry and networking events


Once you have identified a job or companies you would like to work for, you can research events that are happening in that industry that you could attend. By attending these events, you can build connections and get to know people in the industry. You never know who you might meet, they may know of an opportunity or share how they got started in the industry. atWork Australia have a large network of employer partners and can assist in introducing clients to specific industries.


  1. Join professional associations


By joining professional associations, people seeking work will get to know people within the industry, stay up to date with the latest industry news, and potentially gain access to employment opportunities before they are made available to the open market. Additionally, promoting your involvement with professional associations in your resume and during interviews showcases your determination and passion to work in the industry.


  1. Reach out to people on LinkedIn


LinkedIn is an incredible resource to connect you with people from all industries. You can connect with people who work in the industry you are interested in. You could ask if they mind if you ask a few questions about how they got started in the industry. Ask if they would mind reviewing your resume and cover letter. You could even ask if they would consider doing an information interview, so you can ask all your questions on a call or virtual meeting.



  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help


There is no shame in asking for help, everyone does at some point in their personal and professional life. Asking for help allows people to grow and develop new skills that supports them throughout life.  If you are looking for help to find employment, atWork Australia can support you to build a better life through work. You can view atWork Australia’s services and register for support here.


  1. Be confident and positive


When you are at a networking event, you need to be able to confidently talk about your skills, abilities and the value you can bring to an organisation. If you doubt yourself or don’t believe in your own ability, this can cause a potential employer to doubt you too. It is important to remain positive. Don’t focus the conversation on how hard it has been to find work or that you are desperate to find work. Instead, focus on how excited you are to be getting back into work and to take on new opportunities.


  1. Be prepared to talk about your skills and experience


This can be the most challenging aspect of networking. It is much easier to ask questions and let the other person do the talking. Although, in order to benefit from your networking experience, you need to be able to sell yourself by talking about your skills and experience. Before attending a networking event, it’s a good idea to practice your elevator pitch, so you can confidently communicate your skills and experiences to a potential employer.


  1. Be interested in what other people have to say


It is important to be interested in what other people have to say, make sure you are actively listening. Asking questions or commenting helps to develop the conversation and shows the other person you are interested and engaged in the conversation.


  1. Follow up after you meet someone


This could be most people’s biggest downfall from a networking event. At a networking event, we speak to many different people and it is hard to remember every conversation and specific details about each person. So, if you made a connection with a person who you believe could help you in some way, you need to follow up. This could be as simple as a message on LinkedIn saying you enjoyed the conversation and that you appreciated their advice.


  1. Be consistent


It is important to remember that building strong connections through networking is not going to happen overnight, it is going to take time. You need to be patient and consistent with your efforts. Reach out and connect with people, even when you don’t have an agenda or need something from them. The best time to start networking is before you need someone’s help. First, find out how you might be able to support their needs.




Being a confident networker can help mature aged people seeking work access opportunities in the hidden job market or gain insider knowledge before vacancies are released to the market. It is important to remember when you go into a networking environment, have a clear understanding of what you can offer others, without expecting anything in return. Building fruitful relationships is going to take time and you need to be prepared to put the effort in to get the rewards. If you live with a disability, injury, health condition or need additional support to find meaningful employment and be connected with a broad network of employers, get in touch with atWork Australia today.

  Chat with us
Navigation Menu