Build Your Network
Networking is meeting people, getting to know them, allowing them to get to know you, and hopefully building lasting connections that may or may not result in professional opportunities.
Those who are good at networking understand that there is give and take. Always express appreciation for the assistance you receive, and offer help in return whenever possible.
More than half of all jobs are secured through networking. Connecting and maintaining relationships with personal and professional contacts can:
- Provide you with an understanding of job options and the skills required.
- Provide you with a better understanding of the organization in which they work.
- Provide the names of key people you should contact.
- Provide leads on job opportunities.
- Help get your resume read by the right people.
Five Steps to Successful Networking:
- Start with people you know: friends, relatives, neighbors, Greek organization members, teammates, parents of friends -- the list is endless.
- Research your contacts and their place of employment.
- Write a networking email.
- Set up brief meetings with your contacts, called an "Informational Interview."
- Keep a record of your contacts and always follow up with a thank you note.
- LinkedIn is a great way to network online. Be sure your profile is up to date and professional.
You can gain valuable career information from your personal contacts. In turn, your contacts will also have a network of contacts that they may share with you. It doesn't matter if you only know three people ... networking with them will put you in contact with dozens of professionals.