Your Personal Network2017-06-29T14:36:13-05:00

Starting Your Career

Launching the Job Search

Your Personal Network

Often it’s “who” you know, not “what’ you know. This doesn’t mean you have to know super important, powerful people to land a job. Just connecting with someone in your field may be all the help you need. Here are four strategies for developing your network:

  1. Manage your online presence
    This is your home base for job hunting. There are three things to consider:

    • Make the most of LinkedIn
      You’ll need an up-to-date, easy-to-read profile. Oftentimes, it’s one of the first impressions you’ll make on prospective employers. You can also follow companies that are in your area of interest, make connections with colleagues, join groups, and ask for references and referrals.
    • Monitor your social media footprint
      Make sure your social media pages don’t include anything that could hurt your chances of landing the job you want. Watch out for provocative photos, excessive references to substance use or politics, and any comments that may be offensive. Employers will look at your social media pages.
    • Set up a personal website or blog
      Depending on your field, having your own website could be a plus. And, it’s easy to do. There are many affordable services that can help. Employers will like the initiative and use of technology.
  2. Develop your contacts
    These are the people you already know. Make a list and ask them for help. Contact them individually … no mass emails. Start with those who work in your field. You may be surprised by how much people will want to help.
  3. Attend alumni and professional events
    These are two of the best ways to meet new people who have a shared interest. Find the local chapter of your school’s alumni group and go to meetings. Do the same for local professional groups related to your career field. Talk to people you don’t know and expand your network.
  4. Stay in touch
    The job search takes time. You’ll need to maintain your network over time; look at it as an ongoing conversation, rather than a one-time sales pitch. This will serve you well in your immediate job search and throughout your career. After all, you’ll likely change jobs a few times.

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