If you want to get ahead in your career, you must have a solid network of contacts. Whether you’re looking for your first job or are an established professional, you need to find people who will vouch for your skills and help you land interviews. Networking provides access to mentors and role models, as well as information about different industries and companies.
You’ve probably heard that networking is a crucial part of finding a job, but you may not know how to make the most of it. The truth is, you already have a large network that includes social organizations like homeowner’s associations or recreational sports teams, professional contacts you’ve worked with, even family members and friends. You can expand your current network by using these relationships to introduce you to potential employers.
To be effective, you must approach networking as a mutually beneficial exchange. When you meet new connections, ask them how you can assist them in their job search and then follow through with your promise. Follow-ups can take the form of a thank you note, an email with a useful article, or simply checking in to see how they’re doing. If you don’t follow up, your connection will likely forget about you and your job search, and they won’t be able to assist you in the future. Ultimately, networking is all about building long-term relationships. The more your connections care about you, the better they’ll be able to help you. Networking for job seekers