Personal networking is essential in helping you land your next job. It can help you create a pool of contacts from which to draw leads, referrals, ideas, feedback and information. It can also provide you with a much-needed sense of community.
Social networking will help you build an online presence during your job search. LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and Twitter can all play a role in helping you uncover potential jobs and learn more about potential employers. Employers may also be using these sites to learn more about you, a prospective employee.
Volunteering can also be a great way to expand your network, keep your skills current and contribute to your community.
You Never Know When You'll Need Your Network
It's important to keep building your network even if you're not actively looking for a new job.
- Update or create personal profiles on social networking sites.
- Use an email address that is professional and easy to remember (i.e. Jane.Doe@gmail.com).
- Reach out to friends and former co-workers to connect with. Invite them into your social network and let them know that you are looking for a new career opportunity.
- Develop an “elevator speech” that would introduce you, your career goals and your background in two minutes or less.
- Become active in professional organizations in the region.
- Professional Organizations: “I love Seattle” is a website that connects people to professional and social organizations covering many fields and areas of interest. Learn more at: www.iloveseattle.org. Most professional organizations also have LinkedIn groups and Facebook pages.
- Contact Management: You can download a free contact-management application onto your computer from www.plaxo.com. It will help you consolidate and update your various contact lists.
- Volunteer Match: To find volunteer opportunities, visit www.volunteermatch.org.