Networking and Your Job Search
Networking is: The process of developing, maintaining and nurturing mutually-beneficial relationships that foster professional and personal growth. It is the number one way to get a job in today’s world!
You are Networking When You …
- Attend professional meetings and conferences
- Attend Career Services fairs, employer information sessions and department events
- Become involved in school clubs and other extra-curricular activities
- Connect with BMCC alumni
- Join professional organizations
- Start a conversation with someone
- Set up a professional profile on social networking site, such as Linkedin.com
- Ask a family member if they know someone who works at a company that interests you
- Community – events, neighbors
- Extracurricular activities (clubs/organizations)
- Religious affiliations
- Online networks-Facebook, Linkedin
- Professional Organizations
- Sports teams
- Volunteer work
- Jobs-part-time included/Internships
Keys to Successful Networking
- Make a great first impression!
- Introduce yourself: Smile/Handshake/Eye Contact.
- Develop your Elevator Pitch.
- Stay positive.
- Prepare thoughtful questions ahead of time.
- Maintain your network- Stay in-touch.
- Attend events on- and off-campus.
Do’s and Dont’s of Networking
- DO ask for information, advice, referrals & introductions
- DON’T ask directly for jobs
- DON’T send mass e-mails
- DO always thank people who have helped you in any way
- Continue networking to develop contacts and potential leads
Always continue networking to develop contacts and potential jobs or internships. Your job search is never over even if you are already working.
Social networking is the art of using digital, web-based technology to connect and communicate with others. It has become a great resource to widening connections and making information available to you – and your potential future employers. Online professional networking sites-such as Linkedin.com, allow you to create a professional profile. The accessibility and relatively low-cost make social networking a key vehicle for employers to use for recruiting.
Many companies use online social networking sources to list current and upcoming job openings; many companies also turn to online sources to find qualified candidates to fill open positions.
You may use social networking to:
- Research employers/opportunities
- Create a professional profile
- Connect with people you know from various aspects of your life
- Expand your contacts by being introduced to others through your network
- Join groups with professionals with common interests and fields
- Search for job postings
- Learn about ‘hot topics’ in your industry/field of interest
Remember, the online hiring process works both ways: you can use these sites to search for jobs and make connections online, and potential employers can use sites to identify candidates and fill open positions.
Key social networking sites used for job search include:
- The premier professional networking site
- Enables you to develop your on-line profile for recruiters to view
- One-stop search for networking, company and industry research, as well as job search
- Facebook: Employers may list jobs on company pages (such as MTV)
- Twitter: Some company representatives will “Tweet” positions on a regular basis
- Since “Tweets” are limited to 140 characters, not all information is included
- Meetup Groups: Join a professionally-focused group, such as Finance Professionals-and attend events.
- Use Meetup to connect to the world’s largest network of local groups.
Ensure a Professional Online Presence
- When creating your professional profile online-and communicating online, keep the following in mind:
- Use an appropriate and professional photo
- Create a strong, customized informative summary that focuses on your unique skills set and experience
- Use correct grammar/spelling when writing
- Be thorough: complete your education and experience sections
- Incorporate keywords to further enable employer searches
- Be aware that your online profile is public-and viewable by everyone-including your boss or other company representatives. Thus, you may want to keep your accomplishments general. In a cover letter, you can elaborate.
- Remain active and keep an updated profile
- Don’t approach a stranger directly. Instead, request an introduction through someone in your network
- Invite people you know (colleagues, classmates, friends, business associates) to help be a part of your network
- Contribute positively to online discussions – and proofread your written comments before publishing them.