In today’s economy and challenging job market, networking is one of the leading ways to find employment opportunities. Networking is simply developing and building personal relationships to help you find out more about potential job opportunities with the purpose of securing an interview and gaining employment. Nearly two-thirds of today’s job seekers find employment by contacting friends, relatives, former colleagues, and professional acquaintances in order to set up face-to-face meetings in hope of receiving referrals. Consider the following steps as you strive to improve your job-searching efforts.

1. Self-AssessmentNetwork2
2. Company Research
3. Professional Correspondence
4. Three Networking Essentials

Job Networking Resources

Definition of Networking:

Developing and building personal relationships

  • to find out more about potential job opportunities
  • to secure a job interview and gain employment
  • 60% got their job by networking: contacting friends, relatives and former colleagues, and setting up face-to-face meetings in the hope of getting referrals

Network through Career Central

Network through LinkedIn

What do you look like on social media?

Networking is part of the “job” of looking for a job

  1. Begin with people you already know
  2. Keep the interview brief, stick to your promise, and give the contact the option of continuing
  3. Stay focused, have your questions written out, take notes
  4. Learn the names of secretaries; make them your allies
  5. Always follow up immediately with a thank-you card with handwritten words of appreciation. Focus on what impressed you about their company, not on what you can do for them

The Secret of Mastering ‘Nonabusive’ Networking by William Morin (Total Career Fitness: A Complete Checkup and Workout Guide, Pfeiffer & Co., 2000)

Networking Tips

  1. Prepare an “elevator speech.” Limit it to 30 seconds; who you are, what you do, what you’re network3looking for; make it upbeat and succinct.
  2. Use your existing ties. Friends, family, and ex-colleagues. Spread the word that you are looking for a job. Ask everyone for two or more referrals. “Do you know anyone else who might be helpful for me to meet?”
  3. Network with specific professional associations. It may require a membership fee. However, it is well worth your time to focus on connecting with these associations to increase your networking opportunities.
  4. Show interest in others. Ask questions and get the contacts to talk about themselves and their business experience.
  5. Don’t ask for a job. Ask for counsel and advice. If you seem qualified, they will refer you to the right person to set up an interview.
  6. Build relationships. Build confidence before asking for help.
  7. Don’t be selfish. Networking is a two-way street. Share what you know. Help where you can help.
  8. Don’t abuse relationships. Avoid excessive phone calls.
  9. Follow through. Write a proper thank-you note. Share news of how your meeting went with the referral.
  10. Maintain your network. Stay connected. Keep informed. Many jobs are unpublished, so you may hear of new and exciting opportunities.

Experts Offer Their Tips for Fruitful Networking by Stacey Bradford (The Wall Street Journal Online)

How do you get the most out of networking?

  1. Know what you’re looking for. Be concise about your talents, skills, and goals. Communicate that you are serious about your future.
  2. Be assertive. Promote yourself, be confident, and be specific.
  3. Curb the feeling of desperation and listen to advice; ask questions.
  4. Your most valuable tools: an updated resume, business cards, follow-up call, email, and/or thank-you note.
  5. Stick with it. Results will come in the long run. Concentrate on new ways and places to network.

If You Want a New Position, Start Networking Now by Marshall Loeb (MarketWatch)