We all know that networking is a very essential component of job hunting as it increases the chance of success of your job search. In this article, I would like to share certain steps that must be taken before you begin networking. These steps are important as they allow you to put an effective strategy in place that generates results.
1. Identify People in Your Network
The first step is to identify the people in your network and highlight key players. Grab your phone or address book and list:
Your personal contacts. These can be anyone including:
- Parents of your children’s friends
- Parents of your friends
- Relatives of your friends
- Club members (country club, swim club, sports club)
- Sports team members
- Social media connections
Professional contacts. People in this category include:
- Current coworkers
- Previous coworkers
- Previous managers
- Vendors and suppliers
- Seminar, conference, or workshop attendees
- Business owners
- Venture capitalists
- Members of industry associations
- Contacts you’ve made at conventions and job fairs
Stretch your circle a little further. Think about third-party contacts you may know, such as:
- Real estate brokers
- Financial advisors and bankers
- Mortgage bankers/brokers
- Insurance agents
- Travel agents
- School friends and teachers
- College classmates and friends
- Alumni association contacts
- Graduate school classmates
- Other alumni of your schools
- University career-placement office staff
- Former professors and advisors
- Community groups
- People you met while volunteering
- Health club members
Now that’s more people in your network than you initially thought, right?
2. Start Organizing Your Network
Step 2 is to start organizing your network. Go through the contacts you listed and create a robust networking list.
It is always best to use a spreadsheet to categorize and organize all contacts. Add a column for each first name, last name, job title, industry, phone number, email, social media handle, etc.
Add a column for any notes or interactions you remember that will make each of your contacts stand out. This will also make contacting them more personal.
3. Keep Track of Those You’ve Helped
Highlight contacts in your master networking list that you’ve helped or worked with before. Most people are happy to return a favor and recommend you for a position you’re qualified for. All it takes is a simple request.
Reach out to this group first.
Once you know your network well, you are more likely to be confident and comfortable when reaching out to your contacts. You must actively continue developing and building your network of contacts as you progress.
Are you tired of your resume being rejected by applicant tracking systems? I know how frustrating it is to submit your resume and receive no response. I hate seeing qualified people never break through the screening process. It shouldn’t be that way. That’s why I created this guide and I encourage you to download the FREE PDF so you can start seeing better resume response rates!
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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