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Looking for a New Job? Networking Tips That Can Help

by Miranda Marquit

It is appears that the job situation is improving, albeit slowly. This means that there are a number of job opportunities available for those looking for new jobs. And, thanks to technology, it is now possible to find jobs with a little help from the Internet. And it’s not all submitting resumes to job search sites. Many people malign Twitter and Facebook, but they might actually be able to help you get a job. And, of course, networking still works offline as well. Here are some networking tips that can help you find a new job.

Build Your Brand

Networking tips - are you building a strong professional network?

Are you building a strong professional network?

When you are looking for a new job, you are selling a brand. When you network offline, you want to present a professional image. The same is true of your online efforts. Create profiles that are consistent across social media that you are using for professional purposes. A LinkedIn profile is usually a good idea for job seekers, and having a Twitter account can’t hurt, as long as you try to be useful. What you do with Facebook is up to you, but know that, even if you don’t think of Facebook as part of your professional brand, some potential employers will look. Take down questionable pictures, or at least make sure your privacy settings are such that such pictures are not public.

You want to prepare the ground by make sure that your online profiles highlight your good qualities, and what you can do. Don’t make your profiles long, but do make them consistent and relevant.

Look for People, Not for Jobs

Instead of trying to find a specific job, consider looking for specific people. Think about the types of companies you want to work for, and the kinds of things you want to do. You can perform a search for people who work for a company of interest to you, and contact them through social media. Find them on Twitter, LinkedIn (a great choice) or some other social media site. Make sure you understand, though, how this person prefers to be contacted. While making professional connections on LinkedIn is often an acceptable way to approach someone you don’t know, you should be sure to make LinkedIn connections the right way. Also keep in mind that many people prefer not to keep their work and private life separate, and do not appreciate having their Facebook space invaded by work matters.

Offline, this works as well. If there is a place you would like to work, make an appointment to visit with some of the key people. You don’t have to ask for a job up front, but you can make connections and get the lay of the land. Keep in touch, and, later, when the opportunity arises, you’ll already have an in.

Follow Through

Make sure to follow through. If someone provides you with a referral, make sure that you follow through quickly. Also, if you have promised to provide something by a certain time, make sure that you do. Prove that you are reliable — the kind of person that others want to work with.

Help Others

Sincerity is important when networking, as is helping others. You are looking for help from others, so you should be prepared to help others. If you can introduce people who might work out for each other, do so. You can also answer questions and mentor. No, you shouldn’t give away everything for free, but you can help as you expect to be helped. Besides, if you are a powerful resource for others, potential employers will eventually notice.

Do you have any other networking tips?

Photo credit: mark raheja


Published or updated October 8, 2012.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Richard @ Debt Assistance Guru

Have you ever had that experience where you’re working in a job, a new vacancy arises because someone leaves, or is promoted or is simply created by a reshuffle and suddenly you get offered it?

No interview. No formal discussions. Just a “would you be interested?”.

If you applied for the job as an outside candidate you’d like have to send in a resume and covering letter. Wait for an interview. Do an interview, maybe with a presentation. Wait for the result. Maybe have a second interview and so on.

But being on the inside opens up a whole host of possibilities and options generally not available (or even visible) to those on the outside.

Therefore in my opinion a great networking idea to find a new job is to offer some of your time as a volunteer or a work placement. If you have somewhere in mind that you’d love to work, offer yourself to them free one day a week, or for a week while you’re on vacation from your other job.

Soon enough you’ll not only figure out if you really *do* want to work there but you’ll get to know a lot of the team and will an obvious choice next time a vacancy comes up. I have even spoken to people who had a vacancy created specially for them after the employer discovered how great they were and didn’t want to risk losing them to a competitor.

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2 Eric Myers

Great article. Networking is certainly a key point to success, especially in today’s unforgiving market. It has never been easier than it is today with different social media tools. I recently put a QR code on my business card that allows members to scan my information into their phones and even if my information on my actual card changes the QR code can always be up to date. Amazing!

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