Networking Tips For The Job Seeker

Chelsea Lawler

Networking with other industry professionals may seem time consuming for many job seekers. Networking allows job seekers to possibly hear of new insider information or open positions before they are posted on the Internet. Obtaining the proper network connections can be advantageous for both you and the network connection. Building a professional rapport with a network connection can potentially lead to the expansion of your overall career network. In our current economic climate and the competition for job opportunities, it is truly who you know in your industry of choice. Networking can make all of the difference when solidifying your potential position at a company. It is absolutely essential to be friendly to everyone you meet because you never know what role they will play in your potential employment at the company. The individuals you meet and network with can be an asset to you, especially for a future reference. The aforementioned information may sound wonderful, but if you do not have a network, how do you develop one?

The key to developing your network is to start with the people you already know: your friends, family, and colleagues. But what about friends of your colleagues or family? Professors? Bosses? Expand your horizons and think outside of the box. When you are building your network, it is imperative to keep your contacts organized and to follow-up with connections.

Tips for Career Networking Success

1. Self-Assessment

When thinking about a potential career network, it is imperative that you think about your interests and potential companies you would want to work for. What interests you? How do you spend your free time? Who do you know in the industry that you are interested in? Do they know someone? In addition to creating a list of things you enjoy, think of things you do not enjoy doing. Be honest with yourself! Tweak your resume, too!

2. Connect Via LinkedIn

Creating a LinkedIn profile is imperative. LinkedIn allows you to connect with industry professionals and colleagues from all over the globe. The website is perfect for showcasing your experience, projects, expertise, and interests. Many employers check LinkedIn for potential employers and it may help you get introduced to new network connections. Many individuals are happy to help new job hunters with advice and information. Create a LinkedIn profile that showcases your career branding statement and overall resume qualifications. In addition to LinkedIn, you can attend informational industry seminars and meetings in your area of interest. Making in-person connections is vital to your networking core.

3. Stay Organized

It is crucial to stay organized when bringing your career network together. Keep a spreadsheet handy for your contacts and their personal information. List company names, addresses, and phone numbers. Make a note of how you met/know the network connection. If you receive business cards, keep them in an envelope for easy access.

4. Stay in Touch

Stay in contact with your network! E-mail, write a letter, or call! Do not be afraid to reach out to those you may not know personally or those you do know, for help or advice. It never hurts to ask for advice or information from contacts within the field of interest. It is imperative when making network connections that you know WHO you are talking to, and WHAT you want to say! Will you make a positive and memorable impression on a new network connection? A network connection can be a potential future reference, so be sure to understand and effectively communicate your questions to the individual.

5. Follow-Up

A network connection’s position, expertise, and personal connections are vital to your success, so be sure to use the connection to your advantage. If you landed a job interview from one of your connections, let them know how it went. Let them know what is happening in your professional life and do not forget to thank them for their help!

About The Author

Chelsea Lawler

Chelsea Lawler is a recent graduate of Philadelphia University with her Master of Science degree in Fashion Apparel Studies. She graduated from Mount Aloysius College in 2010 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Chelsea enjoys running her small jewelry business for vintage clothing, and traveling. With her writing at Career Igniter, she hopes to educate both students and job seekers on the various facets of the job hunting process.

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