Networking is defined as planning and making personal and professional contacts in the hope of establishing job leads that may help you secure a job. It means establishing relationships with others who might help you look for employment. Who should be part of your job search network? – internship supervisors, past employers, college professors, relatives, members of your church, friends, people you know who work for the company or organization that you want to work for, alumni of your university, classmates, your doctor, your dentist—virtually anyone who has knowledge of job opportunities.
- Study after study shows that networking is the most effective way to get a job. Prospective employers prefer to hire “a friend of a friend” instead of someone they don’t know. Employers know that the best candidate for an open position is likely those referred to them by word of mouth.
- Employers will often ask their employees and other members of their personal networks to identify high-quality candidates for an open position in their organization.
- Keep a database or worksheet of those who are members of your job search network. Information to include:
- Mailing address
- E-mail address
- Telephone Number
- Dates of Contact
- Search the Internet for tips on effective job search networking. Use any of the following sites to help you:
Q: What’s the biggest mistake a job-seeker can make with networking?
A: Failing to express gratitude. A simple thank-you goes a long way in networking, and many networkers forget their manners. Don’t forget to thank those who are providing you with job leads and helping you gain employment.