The Importance of Networking: 3 Ways to Connect with the Pros

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NetworkingAs the saying goes, it’s not always what you know, but who you know when it comes to getting hired in today’s tough job market.

In looking for quality candidates that they truly trust, some supervisors don’t even post job positions prior to reaching out to their first–and second–degree professional connections. They know (on a much more personal level) that these individuals can get the job done.

The professionals you connect with now can help lead you on a path to the internship or job that enables you to prove yourself to those in power, and begin building a successful career.

Give yourself every advantage. Meet and speak with as many professionals as you can, seek advice and gain the knowledge you need to succeed.

Network With Friends of Friends

Not sure where to begin? Talk to a friend or a family member about their personal and professional connections. You never know who may have a distant relative, family friend, or acquaintance in the field you’re looking to break into. 

Ask for their contact information, send an email, or pick up the phone and connect.

Request an informational interview, or short conversation with this person to ask them questions about their background. Inquire about advice they may have for those just beginning their careers.

Reach Out to Alumni Contacts

Your high school or college has thousands of alumni. Odds are in your favor that at least one of these people is interested in, and possibly excelling at, the same profession you’re exploring—the trick is just to find them.

Ask your school or university if there are any alumni organizations you can reach out to and begin speaking with alums. The perk here is that you already have something in common. Turn your knowledge, and favorite aspects of your campus, into conversation topics to break the ice and form a connection.

Attend Professional Organization Events

Do a bit of research (make Google your new best friend!), and see if any professional organizations exist in your area for the industries you are most interested in learning more about. 

If so, see if they have a student chapter, and then take a look at their calendar of events. Some events may be open to non-members, and are a great opportunity to be in a room with more than few industry professionals looking to mix and mingle with likeminded individuals.

What are you doing to build your professional network? Let us know in the comment section below!

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons, thetaxhaven.blogspot.com

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