Networking remains the #1 job search strategy, since only 10-20% of jobs are advertised to the public (NACE).
So how do you start? You may think your network is limited right now, but you probably have more contacts than you realize.
Networking is a process of cultivating and maintaining relationships. It can be formal or informal, and can take place at any time. It’s talking to a professor, chatting with a family friend, or making conversation with someone on a plane. You’ve probably already participated in networking. Networking is not an annoyance. Do not feel like you are bothering, pestering, or using people. Most individuals love to talk about their careers and themselves.
Check out these videos by Stanford University! They break down the types of Networking and reframe how we should think about Networking.
IDENTIFY YOUR NETWORK
EXPAND YOUR NETWORK
If you’re unsure about your career goals or feel that you lack relevant experience and knowledge to pursue the career you want, then informational interviewing is for you!
It’s a chance for you to choose or refine your career path by asking a professional to give you an insider point of view. No one knows better about a particular career than the person doing the job!
Check out our page on Inforamtional Interviews.
Business attire is strongly recommended for attendance at job fairs, networking receptions, and interviews, whereas business casual attire is often appropriate for employer information sessions, panel discussions, informational interviews and other presentations.
Is your online presence helping or hurting you? Eighty-five percent of employers say positive online reputation influences hiring decisions.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform used by hiring managers, recruiters and professionals to find candidates, showcase their company, network or gain industry knowledge. But, few people are maximizing LinkedIn’s power.
Commonly referred to as the “professional Facebook,” LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows you to identify and connect with potential networking contacts, research companies, and join professional interest groups. Employers frequently check candidates’ online presence before granting them an interview or selecting them for a position.
A personal business card can be a convenient tool for both you and your newly-found contacts. Keep it concise, easy to read, and professional. The design can reflect the culture of the field or industry you’re exploring. You can make inexpensive ones on a variety of websites.
KEEP IT SHORT & SWEET
FOCUS ON THE ESSENTIALS
BE POSITIVE & PERSUASIVE
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
» How to Create a Perfect Elevator Pitch with Examples
» Perfect Career Networking Conversation Starters
An initial meeting or contact with someone does not establish a connection unless there is follow up of some kind. Developing relationships (not just contacts) is key to having access to opportunities. Stay in touch over the long haul—not just when you need something. Make it part of your long-term career plan.
Always send an email or letter to potential contacts within two business days following an initial meeting. You’ve worked hard to initiate this new relationship- keep this connection alive!
MAINTAIN AND NURTURE CONNECTIONS: WAYS TO FOLLOW UP
*TIP: Write reminder notes on the back of business cards—where and when you met, topics discussed, business areas, etc.
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