In the professional field, it is important to learn how to network. Many people believe that people who get a job through networking aren’t based on their merit, but this is false. Networking allows you to put your name and face out there, which allows recruiters to be on the lookout for your application! They see various applicants and different types of resumes, but it is hard to catch someone’s attention with just a resume and cover letter. Who is better to present you than yourself? This blog will discuss what it means to network and the different methods to connect with recruiters along with tips and tricks to master!
What is Networking?
- Noun: a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest
- Verb: to cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, especially in finding employment or moving to a higher position
Why is it Effective?
- Developing Relationships with the goal of:
- Gaining advice and insider information
- Building industry contacts and referrals
- Discovering hidden jobs
- Exploring career options
- Why it’s effective:
- Over 50% and up to 70% of all jobs are found through networking
- It can provide invaluable information, support and insight throughout the career exploration process
- You will most likely find your next job through networking
- It is a skill that you will continue to rely on, develop and hone throughout your lifetime!
- Networking allows you to put your name and face out there, which allows recruiters to be on the lookout for your application!
Common Networking Fears
- Why would people want to talk to me?
- I want to get a job on my own merits.
- I will look foolish or unprofessional if I’m not sure what I want to do or what I should say.
- I don’t have any connections.
- The cultural differences between myself and the people I need to talk to are intimidating
- Definitely do not take it personally if someone doesn’t get back to you!!
Information Interviews – Help to network as well!
- An informational interview is a brief meeting between a person who wants to investigate a career and a person working in that career
- The goals are to:
- Learn about jobs you may like – to see if it fits your interests, skills, and personality
- Develop relationships with professionals in your industry of interest that may leead to referrals
- Expand your network!
- Informational Interviews are a way to:
- Gather information
- Develop relationships
- Informational interviews are NOT a way to:
- Ask about job opportunities
- Get your foot in the door once you have applied for a position
Networking via Social Media
- Personal Website
Something to remember before you start Networking Online!
- Your information is NOT private!
- Anything you post on the internet is fair game to interviewers/recruiters!
- This allows you to share your unique story in 30-60 seconds to capture someone’s attention!
- It is used as a marketing tool and includes who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and your future goals as it relates to your job and internship search
- The impression you make in one minute can determine a potential employer’s interest in pursuing you for available jobs
- Can be used in multiple venues (career fairs, networking events, informational interviews, everyday meetings)
Tips to remember while networking!
- Come to any networking situation with positive energy and enthusiasm
- Be authentic and be yourself
- Quality relationships are better than a large number of connections
- Relationship development is the ultimate goal
- Give as much as you take! Networking is a reciprocal relationship
- Follow through on following up
- A thank you note goes a long way!
What is LinkedIn?
- Establish your professional brand and an online presence
- Help people find you
- Stay in touch with classmates, friends, employers, colleagues
- Have a network when you need it
- Help others
- Find experts and ideas
- Explore opportunities related to a job and/or business
Quick Tips for Making a LinkedIn Profile
- Clear and professional-looking headshot
- Keyword-rich headline
- Strong summary
- Keep your profile public – privacy settings
- Customize your profile URL
- Make sure to fill out all of the important sections:
- Education, Experience, Skills & Expertise, Recommendations & Endorsements, Location & Industry, Groups
- If you have Documents, a Website, or Videos, it would be good to upload it too!
- Additional Sections: Projects, Languages, Publications, Honors and Awards, Test Scores, Courses, Patents, Certifications, Volunteering & Causes
- Demonstrate brand and personality in a professional manner
- Descriptive with keywords filtered in
- What differentiates you? Makes you special? What do you want to be known for?
- An expansion or brand and headline
- Includes highest character count on profile (2000 words)
- Keywords are very important
- Structure in terms of Who, What and Why
- Use paragraphs, headings, and subheadings to break up text
- Include media: photos, presentations, videos, documents, links
- Tone: more friendly and personable than a resume
- Upload images, videos, presentations, documents, links
- Add media to:
- Each job listing
- Each educational listing
- Just links: contact information, projects, publications, and patents
Finding the Jobs: Jobs Section
- Use Advanced Search Criteria
- Ex: Keywords, location, industry, experience, etc.
- View the “jobs you may be interested in” section
- Saved jobs & Saved searches
- Benefit: Shows you who in your network works at that company!
- Internship and Full-Time opportunities are available
Reaching Out to Others
- First connections you will most likely know
- For those that are not yet connected to you, you can reach out to them in a few ways through:
- Group membership
- Introduction tool
- Upgrade your account to send in the mail
- Do not recommend sending a request to connect if you do not know the person
Tips on Connecting with People:
- Send a brief note to your connection asking politely to be introduced to the target individual
- Reach out to target individuals from an informational interview angle, highlight how you are connected and what you would like to discuss
Keeping Visible/In Mind: Status Updates!
- Status and profile updates
- Profile changes
- “Like” an update
- Group postings
- Following company
- Follow people
- Status updates:
- Send article to connections
- Ask questions
- Mention people
- Request recommendations from people who really know you and your work
- Former bosses, professors, staff members
- It is about quality over quantity
- Customize each request with a polite, gracious, and personalized note
- Provide a few words outlining the accomplishments or qualities this person might mention about you
- Thank the person for writing the recommendation