If you are searching for a new job, you know how important networking can be. Not only will your network be able to guide you throughout your career, you’ll also receive insight into new job opportunities that may not be available on job boards.
However, you’ll have to play the long game if you want to build and maintain a network you can rely on when job searching. The good news is there are many ways you can build your network. Below are 5 of our top networking tips to help you throughout your career.
Attend Networking Events
From college alumni events to industry specific workshops, attending events can be a gamechanger when it comes to expanding your network. There are a variety of events you can attend where you’ll meet like-minded individuals looking to connect. The people you’ll meet will most likely have the same professional interests and goals as you, making it much easier to reach out to them when the time comes.
Join An Industry Organization
There are many professional organizations that can help you meet people within your industry while also keeping you up-to-date on the latest industry news and trends. Not only will you have access to more industry events and training opportunities, you might also get access to the membership list. This can open a whole new avenue of connecting with people within your industry.
Industry events can be a great starting point for networking. However, there are many other ways to meet people who could help your career. Consider reaching out to your family and friends to see if they know anyone who can help you in your career. These folks may be more willing to connect, especially if they are already in your extended network.
Ask For Information Interviews
Successful networking requires tact. Instead of asking for help right away, you’ll want to take a softer approach when you reach out to connections you just met. For example, it might better serve you to ask a new connection to meet for coffee to learn more about their career path and the industry they work in. If you hit it off, you might feel more comfortable asking for additional introductions, insights into future job opportunities, or even possible mentorships.
Pay It Forward
Networking shouldn’t be a one-way street. If you expect a connection to help you in the future, you’ll also have to try your best to reciprocate the connection by providing any resources or insight that may help them as well. Take the time to learn more about the people you are networking with and think of ways your own experience and connections could be beneficial. You are more likely to make a stronger connection with someone if you are willing to lend a hand.