How to Network Your Way to Your Next Job

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Networking 300x300 How to Network Your Way to Your Next JobNetworking is a great way for you to find your first or next job.  In fact, according to an article by Mike Profita on About.com’s Job Search blog, at least 60% of jobs are acquired through networking.

If you’ve been working for the last couple of years and you are still searching job boards for a new job, you’re doing it wrong!  Connect with your coworkers and your supervisors and make a good impression.  It’s much easier to move up in your career if you are being recommended to new positions or new companies than by sending out your resume to random employers.

I’ve included the rest of Mike’s article here, but networking doesn’t apply exclusively to post-graduate employment.  ANY job seeker, no matter how much experience, can benefit from utilizing your existing connections and building up your network.

View the original article here on how to network your way to your next job:

Networking is most important for college students who are not heavily recruited due to relatively low demand for their major or other limitations in their candidacy such as mediocre grades or limited experience. So what is networking anyway? Simply stated it involves tapping your contacts or cultivating new contacts in order to gain visibility as a candidate for jobs.

Tips for Networking Your Way to a Post-Grad Job

The following tips will help you to see how college students and recent grads can initiate an effective networking campaign and enhance their chances of landing a good job after graduation.

Informational Interviewing

The most effective approach to networking often involves conducting informational interviews with your contacts. Approaching individuals for information and advice about developing your career and/or conducting your job search provides a comfortable forum for you showcase your background and gain the respect of potentially helpful people.

Tap Your School Connections

Reach out to coaches, activity advisors and supervisors for your volunteer experiences. Schedule a consultation to talk strategy about your job search. Make sure they have a copy of your resume so they can see what you’ve accomplished outside their sphere of exposure to you. Ask for advice including referrals to people whom they know in fields of interest or or working with target employers.

Follow the same approach with any of the faculty with whom you have developed a close rapport. They have observed your work ethic as well as how you think, write and present. Faculty introductions to alumni carry an implied endorsement of your viability from a trusted source.

Tap Your Employment Connections

Arrange similar consultations with past job or internship supervisors or other professional staff working with your former employers. It doesn’t matter whether the previous job was related to your ultimate goals or was relatively unskilled. All these folks can attest to your work habits, character and attitude. They may know people in your target field and may be willing to make introductions.

Ask Your Family to Help

Ask family to help you generate a mailing list of contacts including the types of people who would be invited to your wedding or that of a sibling. Compose a one page communication with some newsy notes about interesting and fun travels, activities and other recent pursuits. After presenting these newsy items, let them know that you are looking for introductions for informational consultations in certain fields and/or geographic areas. You can prompt them by mentioning that you’d love to connect with their friends, neighbors, church members, work colleagues, former college classmates etc.

Include a current photo so they can see that you’ve grown! Mail this communication to your contact list so everyone in the family can see it on their kitchen counter, reflect upon your request and think of people they may know.

Contact Career Services

Contact your college’s career office or alumni office and request a list of alumni and parent contacts in fields and geographic areas of interest. Mention that you would like to approach them for information and advice. Ask about any networking events being held by your college.

Identify alumni clubs in areas of geographic interest and attend events whether they are career oriented or not. This will be an opportunity to rub shoulders with potentially helpful people.

Find a Professional Organization

Research professional organizations in your field of interest and inquire about student memberships and any mentoring programs. If possible attend workshops or conferences where you can interact with people working at target employers. Volunteer to help conference organizers with basic functions like registration.

Join LinkedIn

Create a complete LinkedIn profile and join groups for your college and professional fields of interest. Reach out to fellow members for consultations and advice.

Get Ready to Share

Be prepared to share some information about your skills, interests and accomplishments because your contacts will surely ask.

Send Thank You Notes

Make sure you follow up with a thank you note and keep your contacts informed about any of the actions you take based on their advice.

Utilize these suggestions and reach out to as many contacts as possible and you will be amazed at the power of networking! Best wishes for a successful post-grad job search.

No matter where you are in your job search, it is always important to stand out from the crowd.  If you are a recent graduate looking for work, or even a seasoned professional currently in between jobs and are having a difficult time getting noticed by employers, consider creating a professional and stunning video resume/cover letter with the help of Get Hired with Video.

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