Why is Networking Important?
According to VAULT, (the online career resource library): “75 to 80 percent of all job seekers find their new position through referrals; most openings never see the light of day (or newsprint).”
As you build your career, you’ll find that the relationships you develop are as important, and sometimes more important, than the qualifications listed on your resume. Networking should be a critical part of your job search. Some people hesitate to contact others for fear of imposing. However, the reality is that most people are happy to help. Everyone has a network – you just need to learn how to tap into it to make the most of your connections.
Six Key Steps to Networking
1. Draft a network list, brainstorming names of faculty/staff, neighbors, church members, community leaders, relatives, friends, etc. Prioritize your list. How well do you know them? Who is connected to the highest number of people in your area of interest? Do the required research to allow you to put the most connected people at the top of your list.
2. Know what you need from each contact. Develop a statement explaining your needs. For example, “I have a degree in _____ and am pursuing an entry-level position in the ____ industry.”
3. Contact each person and keep notes of each interaction. Send them a resume.
4. Remember to offer any help or information you can to each contact. Networking should be mutually beneficial.
5. Stay in touch with each contact. If the contact supplies you with a lead, remember to let the original contact know how that lead worked out for you and thank them for their assistance.
6. Repeat the process. Networking is ongoing and will be valuable to you throughout your career as you continue to grow.
Want to start networking online? Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date then search for ACU and join groups that fit your interests.