Best Practices for Networking

Staffing agencies can be a great way to enter a career or an industry. Just starting your job search? You may want to lay out a clear path for your job search before getting started. This can include networking, which can be pretty intimidating for new job seekers. Networking is the process of talking to peers, employers, alumni and other professionals to learn more about possible career paths and build connections. The most common question is “How do I start?” Below are some easy tips to get you started.First, dust off your resume. This is a great time to review and revamp your resume. Dedicate the time to crafting an updated resume and highlighting key contributions. Find a feed! Joining online Networking sites, such as LinkedIn, is a great way to get started. LinkedIn is a professional network and can act as your online resume. Search for contacts with whom you have a solid working relationship. When appropriate, you can ask for an endorsement or recommendation. Spend time creating your profile. Ensure that all your information is up to date and that your most recent resume is available to view. Volunteer. Being unemployed can feel isolating.Volunteering is a way to meet others and stay socially engaged. It can also offer much needed emotional support and encouragement. No matter what your situation, volunteering can be a great networking tool – it is another way to make new contacts and expand your network. Have you joined any professional groups or reached out to your contacts? There are many professional groups that welcome new members. Be sure to research if you could volunteer for a committee chair or member position in your professional organization. You can also seek out community groups as well as join LinkedIn groups. Reach out to former supervisors or managers. Contact your references, family, friends and former co‐workers. You most likely know more people than you think.Make sure you always have business cards - keep them with you at all times! You can use them when attending networking events or when you are speaking with someone who is a potential contact. You can include your LinkedIn or Twitter handle – just ensure that they look professional. Focus first on building relationships. Be authentic and considerate. When you are networking, you need to keep in mind that you should be asking for advice and cultivating a relationship – not asking for a job. Let someone know that you admire the company they work for or the position they hold and ask if they would be open to scheduling an informal meeting or getting together for coffee. Your colleagues will notice if you are dedicated and patient when building rapport with others. Building a network does not happen overnight. If you are struggling to get motivated, feeling frustrated, or if you are having difficulty getting motivated, speak to close friends, relatives or trained job‐search professionals who can help you. Be patient and persevere. This can be a challenging time if you’re not typically social, and it is important to remember to take care of yourself.

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