Most jobs are filled with candidates that were sourced through
networking. Networking will maximize your exposure in the
market and will assist in gathering information that can lead to
job opportunities. Networking is about building useful
relationships and fostering mutual support with people.
Only when you have built up trust and credibility with a network
contact can you begin to rely on that person for job leads or a
Calling networking partners with specific goals in mind will
help you make the most of your conversations.
Your goals for networking meetings
should be to:
- Generate awareness of you in the
- Establish relationships with
partners – give as well as take
- Build credibility that could lead to
- Collect information on the industry,
company, function and/or position
- Get introductions to (or names of) at
least two more contacts
- Open relationship for
To arrange and execute a successful networking meeting:
- Schedule a time suitable to both parties to have the
- Be ready to tell your story. Plan to take about thirty seconds
to frame yourself in the other person's mind. Remember to
include: who you are and what your background is; what you are
looking for; and how you want the individual to help you.
- Come or call with your agenda in
mind – you asked for the meeting so you should plan
- Ask pertinent questions and strive to have the networking
partner do most of the talking.
- Get permission to use the networking partner's name in calling
individuals he/she may suggest you contact. Often partners will
call ahead to assist you in this effort.
- Agree on a plan to call back in 5-6 weeks to check in and see
if other ideas have come to mind.
- Write thank you notes and keep network partners up to date on
your progress. They can keep assisting you if you stay visible and
keep them informed.
- Keep a business diary – a chronological record of
notes to yourself about contacts, phone conversations, thoughts,
interview debriefs etc... Since networking often isn't
"linear" and there can be long gaps between contacts, these notes
become invaluable to go back and refresh. Consider using a
system such as Outlook to track networking activities.
ACS Networking for Job Search presentation is a short how-to guide to
networking book we most often recommend is “Make
Your Contacts Count”.