Guest Author: Global resume authority Jessica Hernandez of http://www.greatresumesfast.com is a former HR Manager who partners with professional- and executive-level candidates to create authentic, branded resumes and cover letters.
There are many important aspects to a job search—and networking is one of them. Knowing the right person who works within—or has strong connections to—a company can work wonders in helping you get your foot in the door.
While many seekers think that networking is a random act that involves telling people they need employment, connecting with the right professionals involves more effort. This is why it’s important to learn the steps of setting up a job seeking network.
Join Online Professional Networks
A great way to get connected to dozens—and sometimes even hundreds—of people is by joining online professional networks. Whether you find them via LinkedIn, Facebook, or any other online resource, they are typically easy to join and filled with people eager and ready to help others find great opportunities.
Join Real-World Business Networks
It’s just as important for a job seeker looking for connections to join a real-world business network that requires you to leave your home and meet with other professionals. The purpose of these networks is to get together and share opportunities. If you don’t get involved, you’re truly missing out.
Blog about Your Profession
If you want to attract attention to yourself in your field, a great way to get noticed is by blogging about your profession. People in your field are always looking for advice and hoping to share information about the industry. Taking this step will not only help you make great connections but further your knowledge of your field.
Follow Other Industry Blogs
Just as you want to be recognized as a prominent voice in your industry through your own blog, you want to find out what others have to say in their own blogs. Not only can you learn even more about your profession, but you can introduce yourself and add more people to your network.
Attend Industry Conferences
Conduct some research to find out when professional conferences will be held in your area and around the country. If you can find conferences in your industry, you will gain access to many professionals who can expand your network. Also, don’t be shy about attending generic professional conferences that can meet a similar goal.
Find a Career Coach or Mentor
It’s always great to have a helping hand from someone who is already in the field or knows the ropes of job seeking, so if you can afford it, seek out a career or job search coach who is readily prepared to connect you with great opportunities. At the same time (or if you can’t afford a coach), seek out a mentor who is ingrained in your field and is willing to offer great advice.
Building your job seeking network is just as important as creating an amazing resume and having a successful interview. So take time to build and expand your network. You’d be surprised by the difference it makes in your job search.
It’s important to remember to brand your resume before applying to each new position for more information on branding check out my recent article 5 Key Areas to Target When Branding Your Resume. You can also get additional job search and career related advice by checking out our blog or following us on Twitter @GreatResume.