No matter where you are in your career, networking is a vital part of your success. In fact, many positions are never posted but are instead filled through word-of-mouth. As the name implies, networking takes some work. It requires consistent attention, regular outreach and helping out your connections. Here’s a quick look at what you need to do to network effectively:
- Stay connected with former classmates, colleagues and employers. But connect more broadly, too. You can do that by volunteering to serve on a board or committee of an organization that interests you, and by getting involved in community activities and clubs.
- Go on informational interviews. The connections you make may not lead to a position right now, but getting to know someone today could be the relationship that puts you on the path to career success tomorrow.
- Attend a career fair to meet employers in person, find out more about their organizations and make connections.
- Think of every meeting or event as a potential networking opportunity. Be prepared with what you want to accomplish and who you want to talk with. Sometimes the most important networking happens when you least expect it.
- Be a friend and a follower—take time to really listen and get to know people. Plus, make sure to follow people and/or their organization on social media. Networking is a two-way street. You want others to be there for you when you need them and point you in the right direction when a career opportunity arises, and you need to do the same for them.
- Take a CareerForce workshop on using LinkedIn as a networking tool or a workshop on using both traditional and digital networks in your career search. Search "LinkedIn" or "Networking" from the Events search page here on CareerForceMN.com.
Let us know what we can do to help you network your way to a satisfying and successful career.