Whether you’re new to the job searching world or looking for a new job, networking is a high priority. Networking is a tool that enables folks, like yourself, to be able to get the buzz out about the delightful skills you possess in order to get the recognition you deserve and the job of your dreams.
Make sure you get as much exposure as possible by telling your story about who you are and what you are looking for in a job. Below are the top five ways that job seekers at all levels can use networking to get further in their career:
1. Your own network
It’s important to remember you already have a network. Whether they are family, trusted co-workers, old co-workers, or friends from the present or past, reach out. Make your point clear that you’re asking about any job leads that are relevant to your skills, and to please keep you in mind.
Every professional needs a LinkedIn. Recruiters and employee-seekers think of LinkedIn as the Little Black Book of potential candidates. Highlight your skills and make sure you have a good biography that explains what you do and what your strengths are.
Alumni groups from college and even high school are very useful. People like the familiar and are more likely to help someone they have something in common with. Groups can be joined by your alumni school. There are usually local chapters for universities, and they are also online in MeetUp groups, forums, and you guessed it, LinkedIn (see networking tip #2).
4. Industry events
Most industries have meet-up groups and associations in every major city and many suburbs. Going to these events can be intimidating, but payoff. Google around to find out what associations are relevant to your industry and find out what the local chapters are of that group. Many host monthly events that members and non-members can attend. Make sure you bring a few business cards and have an extra resume on hand, because you never know who is going to be there. Meet as many people as possible.
5. Pick up the phone
Is there an industry expert that you admire? Maybe there is a recruiting firm that works specifically in your field. Perhaps you know just the person to call who is looking for someone just like you to hire. Pick up the phone and call this person immediately. People these days are too focused online communication, which is an easy way to not stand out from other job seekers. If you really want to be heard and want the best advice you can get from these industry experts, pick up the phone and call. Maybe sure to be polite, professional, and mindful of their time.