Professional networking is an indispensable tool in your job search. It is all about interacting with other people to share information and resources, and developing your contacts to further your career. Here’s a few places to start networking:
Join the alumni association of the university you attended – they hold events that allow you to make valuable connections with other professionals in your field and provide you with resources that will assist you in your job search.
Join a professional organization in your chosen field of work – many even students at discounted rates. These associations seek to help people within a particular profession further their career and interests. Professionals in the field frequently use these associations to recruit new employees and interns.
Former Co-workers and Supervisors
If you’re still on good terms with previous co-workers and supervisors, they can become strongest assets in networking. They know your skills, qualifications, and strengths better than anybody else and can sell you to potential employers. Reach out to them and ask if they know of anyone looking to hire or if they know of anyone who would be good to contact.
Social media is not just for sharing cute cat pictures and the latest funny video, but can also provide you with the quickest and easiest access to professionals in your field. Consider creating professional accounts – ones without those
spring break pictures – on the following sites.
was literally made for online professional networking. Take some time to create a quality profile – it’s like a living resume. Follow companies you are interested in working for and join groups to connect with others in your field.
Follow professionals you aspire to be like on Twitter
, especially those who work for companies or in cities where you are looking to apply. Don’t be afraid to pose questions or respond to others’ tweet – it’s not networking if you’re just lurking. Also follow the HR or job accounts of companies you’d to work for, in order to get notified of the latest job openings. Start posting your own material and insights to gain followers – you just might gain the attention of a potential employer.
is an online network of local groups who meet face-to-face to engage in activities and events of similar interests. See if there are any related to your career! The face-to-face interactions will help to develop the strongest connections.
A job club is a group of people who meet to discuss and assist each other in meeting their common desire of finding a job. Not only will you receive support and encouragement from your peers, but you will begin to create more connections and have access to additional resources and information through sharing knowledge about job openings, job search, interviewing skills, etc. Check out Job-Hunt.org
to find a club near you.
Community and Volunteering
Start volunteering in your community in activities and events, as it’s a great way to meet new people and build connections with others in your community. You may also learn new resume-worthy skills.
Friends and Family
Let your friends and family know you’re in the market for a job. Be very specific about what you would like to do, as well as what work experiences, skills and qualifications you have – this gives them a better idea of what jobs to keep you in mind for and how to sell you to possible employers or connections that might interest you.