Have you heard the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Landing a job comes down to one personal asset-connections. In fact, 80% of jobs are filled through networking.
For better or worse, it’s the way the world works. Think about the last position you had, how did you get there?
Networking skills can always be leveled up. Accept where you’re at right now and move forward. Think of it as a personal growth challenge for yourself.
In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the best networking tools out there. When you’re ready, keep reading to get the inside scoop.
As far as networking tools go, LinkedIn remains the go-to platform. You can think of your LinkedIn profile as a virtual resume. It showcases your skills, education, and professional experiences.
You can connect with classmates, alumni, professors, and industry professionals. For the emerging professional, it is the social media platform to be on. Engage with relevant content, join industry-specific groups, and follow companies of interest to stay updated on trends and opportunities.
Prior to using LinkedIn, make sure to take stock of and update your profile.
Take advantage of your alumni’s networking resources. Your alumni will often organize events, webinars, and mentorship programs tailored to recent graduates.
By connecting with your alumni network, you can gain valuable insights into the industry you’re interested in and get leads on potential positions.
Use the shared college experience as your icebreaker. You’ll then be able to foster a stronger bond with fellow alumni and industry veterans.
Be sure to attend both in-person and virtual networking events and career fairs. This is a great way to meet industry professionals and potential employers.
Do your research on the companies participating in the event. Create a polished elevator pitch that highlights your skills, goals, and aspirations. Practice this until you’ve got it down pat.
Your goal at these events is to build rapport with recruiters and professionals. Doing so can lead to positive things in your life, such as internships, job offers, and invaluable industry connections.
Don’t feel that you need to have an interview just to land a job. Informational interviews can be a powerful tool for gaining industry insights and expanding your network.
Reach out to professionals in your desired field, requesting a brief meeting to learn about their career journeys and seek advice. These interviews not only offer valuable knowledge but also help you build meaningful relationships with seasoned experts.
When you attend online webinars and workshops, you’ll gain a wealth of knowledge and networking opportunities. These will be hosted by industry organizations and professionals.
This will help you stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies. You’ll learn what the best practices are when connecting with like-minded individuals. You never know, they could even turn into a mentor.
Network from the comfort of your home or while being mobile with the power of apps. Platforms like Lunchclub or Bizzabo connect you with industry peers and like-minded professionals based on shared interests and goals. These apps make it easier to discover potential mentors, collaborators, and career opportunities.
Another one of our networking tools you’ll want in your toolbox is joining social media groups. Take advantage of today’s technology with apps like Facebook, Reddit, and Slack.
In these groups, you can engage in discussions, seek advice, and learn from others (what to do and what not to do).
You can also reach out to people on social media at large. Mention or tag them to get their attention. Once you do, you can move to DMs.
Volunteer work and contributing to nonprofits can be an excellent way to network with individuals who are passionate about similar causes. Networking while giving back to the community can lead to meaningful connections and even open doors to career opportunities.
Co-working spaces expose you to other professionals from diverse fields. This can lead to unexpected collaborations and different thought processes.
Be sure to join industry-specific professional associations and attend local meetups. This is a great way to network with seasoned professionals and learn about the latest trends in your field. Many associations host regular networking events, workshops, and conferences.
Head to the company’s website you’re interested in and email them. This will take some finesse, but it can be a great conversation starter. You never know, right?
Networking is the lifeline of success in today’s competitive world. Armed with these essential networking tools, you can navigate your way to new career prospects.
Networking is a continuous process that demands genuine engagement, curiosity, and a willingness to help others. As you harness the power of these tools, you’ll find that networking is not just a chore but a gratifying journey of building lasting relationships and personal growth.
So, seize the opportunity, expand your network, and embark on a path of professional advancement like never before. Be sure to take advantage of our Actionable Networking Workshop at The Selling Factory to land your dream job.