Networking is easier than you might think. You already network more than you probably realize. Any time you reach out to contacts for information (such as asking your Facebook friends for restaurant recommendations), you’re networking. Friends, friends of friends, and friends of friends’ friends can all provide valuable input.
During your job search, here are some times and ways you might network:
1. Career Exploration: Learning more about specific jobs and application of skill sets can help you to target your job search. Ask your friends if they know anyone who does a specific job. Job shadowing and information interviewing can support your career exploration efforts.
2. Employer Research: Of course, you’re going to conduct some research on your own, using tools you have at your disposal (Employment Talk, REA’s online career center, for example), but talking to current or former employees of a specific organization provides insights that you can’t always get from online information.
3. Interviewing: Contacts can help to secure interviews, but they can also help to
PREPARE you for interviews, especially if they have personal experience with your interviewers. Understanding what the hiring authority is seeking in an employee can help you to position yourself for success.
4. Onboarding: Networking with new colleagues and asking thoughtful questions will help you to assimilate to the culture and become a contributing team member more quickly.
5. Career Advancement: Actively engaging in corporate activities and outside professional associations can enhance your professional profile, making you more visible to be considered for promotion to greater responsibility.
REA’s Networking Pinterest Board has some of the “best-of-the-web” resources that we have identified on this topic, if you want to read more.
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