That is what my dad told me when I began internship searching and again when I began job searching. I thought he was crazy because (a) I didn't know anyone with whom to network and (b) I was convinced that getting a job was as easy as sending your resume to HR. Boy, was I wrong. I told everyone I knew that I was looking for an internship or a job and, long story short, my networking paid off.
Networking is important, but there is such thing as too much networking. Here are some networking tips & tricks to keep you on track when job searching:
- Tell your friends and family that you are looking for a job. They may have connections or know of job openings at their companies or their friends may have openings. The possibilities are endless.
- If you're looking to move up in the same company or field, ask your people in your company questions about how they got where they are now. But don't ask too many questions or make them feel like they are on an interview. It can be uncomfortable for them and they may realize that you are up to something. Not to mention, it is a little annoying.
- Even when you're not looking for a new job keep in touch with people who may be helpful in your future. This includes new coworkers, old bosses and friend. A general rule of thumb is to contact a person at least every 3 months, once a quarter.
- Develop and maintain relationships.
- Confide in coworkers that you trust. Or at the very least, tell them what your career goals are and find out if they can help.
- Help those people who are networking with you. They can return the favor someday. And, if you're lucky, your company may offer an incentive for recommending a new hire. I received $500 (more like $300 after taxes, but still!) when someone I recommended was hired.
- If someone gives you a lead, gets you an interview, don't just thank the interviewer, thank the person that helped you. They will be more willing to help you again.
Network Working Girls, Network!