Networking uses strategic thinking and skill development to connect with others. This develops professional contacts who can help with your job search.
Networking lets you benefit from your professional contacts. They may know of an opportunity that fits your skills, experience, and interests.
You gain access to the hidden job market through networking. Because many job openings go unadvertised, you face less competition when applying. This helps receive an interview.
You may secure an employee referral through networking. Since many managers prefer to hire referrals, you are more likely to be offered a job.
Discover the importance of networking for your job search and how to go about it.
Set Networking Goals
Write down what you want to accomplish by networking. Examples include adding a specific number of connections to your network or talking with a certain number of professionals about your desired job. This provides motivation to continue to involve your contacts in your job search.
Consider preparing discussion topics and questions before networking. You can use this as a basis to facilitate conversations.
Find in-person opportunities to meet with other professionals in your industry. This may include business-sponsored social activities, job fairs, or industry events. You can connect with peers, hiring managers, supervisors, HR professionals, and company leaders.
Talk with as many individuals as possible. Exchange business cards so you can follow up later.
Having in-person interactions helps build stronger connections with others. This enhances trust between you and your contacts.
Consider scheduling coffee or lunch with a connection you want to ask for help with your job search. You can talk about your desired job type, skills and experience, relevant accomplishments, and other details.
Offer to Help Your Contacts
See if you can help your connections with minor tasks or projects. This shows your initiative and desire to benefit others.
Volunteering to help lets your contacts see how you apply your skills. This provides insight into your work habits and abilities. It also lets your connections endorse your skills to benefit your job search.
Schedule Informational Interviews
Use LinkedIn to reach out to other professionals in your industry. Ask to set up informational interviews with employees in the type of job you desire.
Write down questions about the job and company to ask the employees. Develop follow-up questions during the discussion to gather more information.
If you decide to pursue this type of job, ask an employee to serve as a referral or provide recommendations. If the type of job is not right for you, research other options.
Email your connections to thank them for taking the time to talk with you. Consider asking a question or sharing an article related to your conversation.
Regularly interacting with your contacts helps strengthen your relationships. This encourages your connections to think of you when a job becomes available.
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