Not all jobs are filled from job boards. Many of the best roles can come from who you know. It’s okay if you “hate networking”. You’re not alone. It’s uncomfortable and awkward for most. So, how do you network? Think about it in this way: it’s just about asking someone else questions to help figure out what and how to get what you want. Asking old and new acquaintances questions helps to open doors to opportunities, collaborations, mentorships, business partnerships, gain knowledge, grow in your career, build friendships and sense of community. Tools to help you expand your network.
More articles on Networking:
Networking is a general term that refers to the act of establishing and maintaining relationships with people who may be able to provide information, support, or opportunities in a particular field or industry. This can be done through various means such as social events, online platforms, or professional associations.
Professional networking, on the other hand, specifically focuses on building relationships with individuals who can provide professional benefits such as job opportunities, mentorship, or business partnerships. It involves networking with people who are in the same or related industries, or who have similar professional interests or goals.
Does it really matter which term you use? No one cares. Focus on the intent and act of building relationships and not some much on what to call it.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site, with more than 700 million members worldwide. It's a great place to connect with other professionals, search for job opportunities, and showcase your skills and experience.
If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, you really should create one. There is a little bit of an initial lift in setting it up (adding your career history) and finding friends and communities to connect to. Its free (although you can pay for jobseeking services) and many career resources utilize LinkedIn. Did you know that you can even use the information you have on LinkedIn and download it into a resume PDF? Its a great starting point to use to use with resume sites that will tailor your resume to match potential job descriptions.
There are many professional networking sites available, each with its own strengths and target audiences. Here are some of the best networking sites to consider:
Eventbrite: Discover and attend local networking events, career fairs, and live experiences.
Meetup: Meetup is a platform for finding and organizing local groups and events. It's a great way to connect with others who share your interests and build relationships with people in your community.
Jobcase: Online community where millions of workers connect to find opportunities together. It provides a marketplace and social platform to find and apply to jobs and ask for help from other users.
Shapr: Shapr is a networking app that helps you connect with other professionals based on shared interests and goals. It's a great way to meet new people and expand your professional network.
Opportunity: Algorithms match users to opportunities based on who needs what.
Directory of Associations: Find the professional associations for your industry to follow or join.
Following and engaging with other professionals on social channels and online communities can establish yourself as a thought leader and connect with others who share your interests. Sites to consider: Facebook groups, Twitter, Quora, Reddit, Tik Tok, LinkedIn
Looking to network or find jobs in specific industry sites? See list of industry specific job boards to focus your search.
Feeling stuck? Try something new. We pulled together a list of tools that provide an alternate approach to a variety of the different career search steps.
There are many networking sites to choose from, each with its own strengths and target audience. By choosing the right sites for your needs and interests, you can expand your professional network and build valuable relationships with others in your field.