It’s sometimes said that if you want to get ahead, it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. While your job skills and education are paramount to getting ahead in your chosen field, networking is definitely an important skill to foster! If you want to get ahead in your career—or find a new job—then you need to know how to network.
Career networking should become a part of your daily work and career-related endeavors. And the Career Services department at Goodwin College definitely suggests that you should start networking early; your career network should be in place for when you need it, both for job searching and for moving along the career ladder.
Here are some job networking tips that they give students to help them build their career network:
Who to Include in Your Career Network
Your career network should include anyone who can assist you with a job search or career move. It can include past and present co-workers, bosses, friends with similar interests, colleagues from business associations, alumni from your university, or acquaintances you have met via online networking services. Your network can also include family, neighbors, and anyone who might have a connection that will help.
What Your Career Network Can Do For You
Over 80% of job seekers say that their network has helped with their job search. Networking contacts can help with more than job leads. They can provide referrals to or insider information about companies you might be interested in working for. They can provide information on career fields you might want to explore or what the job market is like on the other side of the country. Your network can give you advice on where to look for jobs or review your resume.
Keep in Touch -Work Your Network
Don’t just contact those who can help when you have just been laid-off from your job or decide you want to look for a new position. Keep in touch with your network regularly – even if it’s just a brief email to say hello and to ask how they are doing. People are more willing to help when they know who you are.
What You Can Do for Your Career Network
Networking shouldn’t be a one way street. If you come across an interesting article or a relevant job listing, share it with your network. The point of having a career network is to have resources who can help, but, you should reciprocate, whenever you can.
Keep Track of Your Network
Keep track of your personal career network somewhere. Whether it’s electronically or on paper, make sure you know who is who, where they work, and how to get in touch.
Online Career Networking
Online job searching networking does work. Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and a variety of other online
networking websites can help you get in touch with other networkers at specific companies, with college affiliations or in a certain geographic area. In addition, if you’re a college graduate, your institute may have an alumni career network you can access. When networking with people you don’t know, make sure that you know what you want. Are you looking for company information? Do you want to know about job opportunities? Be specific in what you ask for.
Networking in person works too. If you belong to a professional association, attend a meeting or a mixer. You’ll find that many of the participants have the same goals you do and will be glad to exchange business cards. If your college alma mater holds alumni networking events (many schools hold them at locations across the country) be sure to attend.
At Goodwin College, our Career Services team is ready and willing to help students and alumni find work, hone their networking skills, and offers real life practice for job seekers. The Career Services team is available to work with current students and with alumni, even years after they graduate.
To receive more job networking tips or to learn more about Career Services at Goodwin College, visit www.goodwin.edu/career-services.