Studies reveal that at least 75 percent of jobs are acquired through networking. Developing networking skills and expanding your network will increase your odds of hearing about job openings that may not be advertised widely. Networking may strike you as a formal process, but it is often nothing more than sharing your interests and goals with daily contacts.
True networking is about building a relationship and sharing information. Rather than simply asking someone for leads or advice, offer to assist him or her with a project. If an immediate offer of help is not possible, make sure you follow up with an offer or with information that might be of use.
You never know when you might meet someone who has information or contacts to help you advance to that next opportunity. If you are able to talk confidently and informally about your interests and goals, you will be prepared to make the most of that unexpected encounter. An introduction developed for networking situations may also be suitable as a response to the popular interview request, “Tell me something about yourself.”
Here’s an example to help you get started:
I am a _____________ at The University of Alabama, majoring in _______________. I chose (major) because _______________. Recently, I have been (involved in, worked at, volunteered at, etc.) ____________, allowing me to strengthen my skills in ______. Through classes and projects, I’ve learned _________and I believe I can contribute to an organization by ________. I’m eager to take the next step in my career and I appreciate having this opportunity to talk with you.
Incorporating social networks into your job search is a must if you want to make sure you’re tapping all sources for leads and job postings. Additionally, you want to make sure you are visible to recruiters who are turning to social networks to find their next hires. Learn how to present yourself professionally in ways that generate results. Realize that everything you say and upload online is fair game when it comes to employers evaluating you as a candidate.
Used wisely, online networking can yield great results. Keeping your profile current and staying active in discussions or groups will remind people that you are engaged in the job search process. The following sites and resources are recommended for developing your online presence and social networking strategies.
LinkedIn is a vehicle for professional networking, allowing you to connect to people and see their profiles. Recruiters are starting to use LinkedIn as the main place for sourcing candidates. They can see professional profiles which include skills, experiences, and recommendations.
There are many ways you can use LinkedIn in a job search:
Twitter allows you to connect with people by “following them” and/or having them “follow you.” This connection can be based on common interests or experiences and is a great way to participate in online networking. By conducting Twitter searches and following recruiters, you will start to learn a lot about them and their companies. Many organizations post their open positions on their Twitter feed.
Before you follow anyone on Twitter, you need a completed profile. Have a short bio and a link to a site that recruiters can go to for more information (e.g., your LinkedIn profile).
Source: CareerBeam. CareerBeam is a service provided by © 2013 CareerArc Group LLC.
Below are a couple of ways to use Facebook effectively for professional networking: