As I stated in the end of last weeks post, this week will be covering networking for jobs. In my first blog of the series I stated that networking was interacting with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one’s career. Although most people use networking primarily for more business, networking is still a vital part of finding a job. So here are five tips for when you begin networking.
Get a LinkedIn Account
If you haven’t already heard this, you should listen up now. Get a LinkedIn profile! LinkedIn is a social platform that connects business professionals together, and here’s why having an account is important:
- Manage your personal branding
- LinkedIn ranks high on an SEO standpoint and gets you recognized and found
- Serves as your first impression for most recruiters or those hiring.
- Serves as a place to organize professional relationships
- Place to showcase and promote recommendations and skill sets
- Place to be seen by like minded individuals
- Helps build your credibility as a professional
Utilize the help of 4-5 people
The goal of networking is to talk to others, so, use your friends, families and colleges to help you! Reach out to roughly four to five individuals who can help. If you reach out to just one contact, that contact could produce numerous potential leads for you to find a job. Can you imagine what reaching out to more than five could produce? Your potential is unlimited utilizing this practice. I recommend using at least three of your five people as industry professionals to help keep your job search relevant to the field you want.
Use your Resources
One of my first networking connections was with Alumni from my school, and that contact has been one of the most influential leads I have used. Alumni can connect you with potential employers, or give you the tips and insiders you need to score a job with a company. Some other great resources are your friends, family members, business professionals, past connections, also career boards and message boards.
Ask for professional feedback
Utilize your networking to gain insight on how you are doing. When I started my career path in web design, I would often meet with professionals to do portfolio and career reviews. I would meet with an industry professional and have them tell me what I am doing well and what I need to improve on. Most of the time when I would go to these feedback sessions I would get anywhere from two to three job leads just from the meeting. The difference between these leads and a lead you would find online was quality. These were professionals who were willing to help get me connected with others in my profession.
Attend Networking Events
Attending networking events is great to grow your network in either a broad sense or can be very specialized. Networking events prepare you for how to meet with new clients and business owners when you get your job.
Networking events are also a great way to stay on the trends of your industry. Speakers at networking events are usually on trend and retaining the knowledge they bestow gives you a leg up on someone else competing for a job.
Lastly, recruiters often attend networking events to find new talent. They might just find the right employee right in front of them at an event that they would not get to qualitatively explore through online.
These are all great places to start when trying to build your network of resources. I often refer to using networking as your means of finding your next job, but these tips and tools also transition into finding new leads when you do receive your new job.