We’ve got lots of advice on improving your resume, getting it past computer screening, interview tips, and more. Yet, we find that despite the near universality of the online job search, most people actually find jobs through personal connections. Your time is always best spent deepening your professional relationships. If you’re looking for a networking refresh, here are four quick tasks you could do to find new opportunities and deepen your network.
1) Ask five people you know to have a coffee or a short conversation. Let them know that you’re job searching. These could be colleagues, mentors, or other influences in your life. Sometimes, just putting it out in the world that you’re looking for a job will help you find something. That way, when a new opportunity crosses their path, they’re thinking of you.
2) Join your college or school’s alumni network. Maybe there is a Facebook or LinkedIn page where alumni from the institutions you attended post jobs or ask for advice.
3) Research three companies you’d like to work for and see if you have any network overlap. Connect with those people, and send them a message. They could be previous colleagues, alumni from your educational institutions, etc. They don’t necessarily need to be people with influence to hire. Just reach out and say that you’d love to learn more about the organization and what it’s like to work there. This will allow you to better understand the company and what kind of person thrives there.
4) Share something on LinkedIn. Write an article related to your area of expertise or interest, share a post, comment on something, etc. This will help you get into the habit of engaging on the platform and networking. A bonus here- the more engaged you are on LinkedIn, the more LinkedIn will promote your page.
5) Pay it forward. Networking isn’t just about what others can do for you- a critical part of being a successful networker is being someone who helps others when they can. You can do more to help than you realize. Sharing a post from a job seeking friend, connecting two people you think could help one another, writing a reference for someone, even just reaching out to someone when you see a job you think they’d be great for.