Networking is the ongoing process to secure job leads, advice and additional contacts. Experience shows that many job opportunities are not posted and visible to the public.
- I purposely seek people to put me in touch with employers and to improve job search skills.
Key Learning Points:
- Networking is typically the top source of job leads.
- Many people feel outside their comfort zone in networking. With practice, you’ll find the right approach and words to engage people on an ongoing basis (not just when unemployed).
- Develop your TMAY (tell me about yourself) or “elevator pitch”.
- Make a list of your potential networking contacts. Add them to the tracking template (below). Include family, friends, co-workers, career counselors, neighbors, volunteer contacts and people you meet at a trade association or other meetings.
- Make a list of questions you can ask of your new contacts.
- Follow-up on each lead and continue to practice and get comfortable with networking.
- Networking Sources. Source: 36 Sources of Networking Contacts by Tom Denham on blog.timesunion.com. Your networking list can be divided up into 4 categories of people:
- Hiring Authorities – people that have the power to give you an offer.
- Job Lead Providers – individuals that can generate job openings.
- Connectors – people that can open doors to other people that might be either Hiring Authorities or Job Lead Providers.
- Advisors – contacts that motivate and give candid advice about job searching, the field, your resume and cover letter.
- Networking Tips.
- The two most important networking skills you can develop are listening and asking questions. Source: Money.com by Lahle Wolfe
- Join professional or trade associations and attend their meetings.
- Ask each person you network with for further contacts or job search advice.
- LinkedIn. This is an essential social media site for business professionals to discover and maintain important connections. It has similarities to Facebook but is usually focused on work-related topics.
Exercises for Older Teens and Adults:
- Design a business card for yourself. What identity do you want to project?
- Practice networking with 1-2 people. Introduce yourself and ask for job leads.
- Make an initial list of potential networking resources and add them to the template. Make a list of questions you want to ask. If time permits, do a short role-play.
- Click here for a long list of icebreakers and short exercises on Glasstap.com.
Questions to Encourage Critical Thinking:
- How can I act on the knowledge that networking is critical and make it a comfortable and natural part of my job search process?
Tools and Templates:
- Networking is the practice of gathering of contacts: the process or practice of building up or maintaining informal relationships, especially with people whose friendship could bring advantages such as job or business opportunities.
Web Articles/Short Stories/Essays:
- How to Network Effectively by Thomas Metcalf on eHow.com
- 33 Questions to Ask When Networking by Stephen Seckler
- Need recommendations.
- How to Network: 3 Tips to Advance Your Career by Harvard Extension School on YouTube.com
- Professional Networking Tips by Kathryn Minshew for University of Phoenix on YouTube.com
- “It’s not what you know but who you know that makes the difference.” – Anonymous
- “Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for.” – Christine Comaford-Lynch
- “The successful networkers I know, the ones receiving tons of referrals and feeling truly happy about themselves, continually put the other person’s needs ahead of their own.” — Bob Burg
- None at this time.
Summary 2-page Lesson Examples, coming soon:
- Job and Career – Networking (handout).
- Job and Career – Networking (with instructor notes).