Career Networking

Networking is about finding opportunities to interact with others, sharing information and news, and to make and develop professional and social contacts.

In other words it’s a way to help yourself and a key skill for a job seeker or a contract worker who needs to cultivate a network of potential employers.

Invest your time

When you network, you need to:

  • identify relevant people connected with the work you want to do
  • build a rapport with them and create an interest in what you have to offer
  • seek help and advice
  • seek and listen to feedback – and act on it!

You need to be prepared to stand up and proactively ask for and offer support to your network of contacts, networking is reciprocal, the more you help others the more they are likely to help you.

Why network?

  • It’s a good way to find unadvertised roles and contracts
  • It shows initiative and ingenuity
  • You sell yourself outside and beyond the normal application process
  • You hear about opportunities early, which may open up possibilities you didn’t expect.

How to start networking – key questions

Who do you already know who might be useful connections in respect of your career aims? Think about:

  • your personal contacts
  • those you know through work
  • college or university contacts
  • and your hobby, sport and club interests

Who amongst these contacts knows you can do a good job? Make them your priority, keep in touch, and help them when you can.

How will you get in touch?

By phone, online via social networking sites or a one to one meeting. Be clear about what you want from your contacts:

  • Insights about their work, career path and experience
  • Introductions to relevant organisations and people
  • Feedback and advice on your CV
  • Advice on other areas of interest

Use your network of connections to make contact with hiring managers and to arrange introductions to recruiters; use your network for advice and inside information that will help you at interview stage.

Posted: Friday 9 November 2018

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