I’m a big advocate of professional networking to advance your career. I’ve witnessed countless success stories that have been made possible through professional networking. I’ve collected the best tips and information here in one place. Here are the best methods for building a powerful professional network.
Find Industry Experts
If you’re looking for a job, it’s important that you find people who are experts in your field and ask them for advice and referrals. Experts in the field can provide valuable insight into what employers are looking for, as well as point out any gaps in your skillset that might need additional attention. This input is valuable, even just make sure that everything is up-to-date. They may also be willing to introduce you to others in their network–and if so, all the better! You never know where these introductions will lead until they happen. Perhaps, one day down the road someone else will be able to connect with a hiring manager who’s impressed by their connection with someone already within their company.
Also, be sure to ask them if they’d be willing to give feedback on work samples or cover letters before submitting them formally. This can help ensure all bases are covered before submitting anything official which could save time later on when applying through an online portal like LinkedIn Recruiter or Indeed Job Search Engine
Alumni can help you find a job or internship, but they’re more likely to do so if they went to your school. That’s because they feel like they have something in common with you and want to see their alma mater succeed. You should be able to find alumni through your school’s career center or on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook (or even Twitter). If there aren’t many listed there, try contacting them directly via email or phone call instead; this is what I did when I was looking for an entry-level position after college graduation!
Get in touch with other alumni who may be able to help you get connected with another company that would be interested in hiring someone with your skillset–and maybe even put in a good word about how awesomely qualified this person was during her time as an intern at our company last summer…
Find Companies That Interest You
Uncovering the right company to fit with your career aspirations can be a challenge, but tapping into your network of contacts can be hugely beneficial in finding that perfect job. Look to network at key events and gatherings, professional groups and online channels – you never know who you might meet! Proactively researching companies and their ethos, goals and culture goes a long way towards making sure you end up in the right place. Even digging deeper into the team dynamics within each organization can give an indication as to whether it’s a happy and productive working environment. With research and network building combined, you will soon uncover the companies that best match your ambitions for your professional life.
Here are some key tips to help get you started:
- Find companies that are hiring. Look at job listings, and see if any of them match your skills and experience.
- Find companies that are growing. Are they adding positions? If so, where? Are you qualified for those positions?
- Find companies doing something you want to be a part of or believe in. Do some research on the company’s mission statement and values, then ask yourself if this mission resonates with your own personal values and goals for future success (e.g., “I want my work life to be meaningful”).
- Consider working at an organization where there is room for growth–and don’t forget about employee benefits!
Hire a Career Coach
A career coach is a professional who helps you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and develop strategies for achieving them. They can also be an invaluable source of support during the job search process by providing guidance on how best to navigate it (e.g., by helping you write resumes and cover letters).
Career coaches typically charge $50-200 per hour depending on their experience level; however, many offer discounted rates for those who take multiple sessions with them over time. The benefits of hiring one include:
- Helping you clarify your values so that they’re reflected in every aspect of your life–including work choices;
- Providing objective advice based on their own knowledge base;
- Giving encouragement when things get tough
Ask for Introductions
It’s a simple idea, but it can be difficult to ask for introductions. You might feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about asking for help, but remember that networking is about building relationships and connections with people who can help you achieve your career goals. The best way to make the most out of these relationships is by asking them directly what they think would be good next steps in your career path.*
Be Specific About What You Want
When reaching out via email or phone call (or whatever medium), be sure that you are as clear and specific as possible about what it is exactly that you want from them: “I’m looking for advice on landing my dream job” isn’t going to cut it; instead say something like “I’m interested in hearing more about how someone got their start at [ COMPANY NAME ].” Your goal should always be creating opportunities where there weren’t any before–so don’t waste time trying to figure out what those opportunities might look like!
Establishing connections with leaders in your field is helpful for landing your dream job.
Establishing connections with leaders in your field is helpful for landing your dream job. When you make connections, you’re able to learn more about the industry and get a better understanding of the types of jobs that are available. Connections also help you find out about jobs before they are posted publicly, this gives you an advantage over other applicants who aren’t connected within their industry.
If you can’t find the right job, it’s time to get proactive and make one. The best way to do this is by networking with people who can help you land your dream job. By meeting with industry experts, alumni from your school or company, hiring a career coach and asking for introductions from friends who work at companies that interest them–all of these strategies will help build connections with leaders in your field.
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