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Career networking: 10 tips on how to network for a job

Career networking: 10 tips on how to network for a job

The best way to get a job is through career networking. It’s just not enough to send out hundreds of job applications and wish for the best. It takes connecting with others who can help you get to begin your dream career.

It’s right to say networking is marketing, but it’s not the type of marketing you think. It’s marketing yourself to people that matter, people who can help you reach your career destination. Many jobseekers feel overwhelmed with various strategies to land jobs. But once they understand that most of their quest lies in networking, it makes things easier for them.

Let’s take a look at career networking and how to get a job through this strategy.

What is career networking?

What is career networking?

Career networking means meeting new people who share a profession, industry, or interests. But it doesn’t just end with finding a job. It’s supposed to be a key part of your daily schedule as far as your career is concerned. Therefore, career networking involves using personal, professional, academic, or familial contacts to assist with a job search, achieve career goals, or learn more about your field or another field you’re interested in.

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Importance of career networking

Importance of career networking
Photo credit: IStockphotos
  • Networking is one of the best ways to land a job. According to a 2020 survey by Jobvite, 31% of jobseekers find job listings through referrals. And referrals are not possible without networking.
  • It contributes to your social well-being, where you can connect and build healthy relationships with others.
  • Leads to the exchange of ideas. No one knows it all. But when two or more people gather together, ideas will flow freely.
  • You get to meet people at all professional levels. This is especially important when you want to advance to better prospects in the course of your career.
  • Career networking boosts your professional confidence. Rolling with the high and mighty in your chosen field makes you feel invincible and ready to take on the rest of the world.

How to network for a job

How to network for a job
Photo credit: Istockphotos

Here are 10 effective tips to help you network for a job:

1. Know the networking style that works for you

There is no ‘one size fits all’ in networking. Different people have different tactics for networking with others. For instance, the way an introvert interacts with others is different from the way an extrovert does his or her interactions. The important thing is to identify the type of person you are and do what’s comfortable for you. You don’t have to be loud and cheerful when you’re not an extrovert. On the other hand, you don’t have to be quiet and contemplative when interacting with other people. Be yourself. The most important thing is that you’re putting yourself out there to connect with people who can help you in your career.

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2. Know your industry

You can’t be in the entertainment industry if you know nothing about entertainment. Also, you can’t be in the health industry if you’re not sure what’s going on there. One of the first steps to creating a successful career is knowing your industry and carving a niche from there. For instance, you want to go into banking. You’ll need to consume every material on banking you can lay your hands on so you’ll understand what you need to know and where to start.

3. Identify the right people to hang with

Everybody must not be your friend. It’s better to have just one friend who can “show you the way” than hundreds of them who cannot help you. The right people can include past and present co-workers, bosses, friends with similar interests, colleagues from business associations, alumni from your university, or acquaintances you have met via online networking services.

4. Focus on building relationships

That’s one of the first rules about networking. You don’t walk up to people and shove your CV in their faces. Rather, make yourself a pleasant person to be with. Join a professional association of your interest. Be active in your network’s activities. Attend their events, and be an active member of their groups and forums. That way, you will be noticed, and you’ll be among the first to know when an opportunity comes.

5. Reach out to your network

Don’t dull yourself. You can’t be active with your networks for nothing. As you build and sustain your connections, you can simply let them know you’re in the market for a certain role and would appreciate it if they let you know about any potential opportunities.

6. Use social media effectively

Don’t be that jobless dude who likes lying on the couch and trolling people on Facebook. Make better use of your data by networking with other people through social media. There are several social media platforms you can join to effectively help your career. LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, etc are social media sites that will give you what you want if you know where you’re looking. Join groups, forums, follow handles, and pages that can help you network with people wey sabi. Many people have gotten their dream jobs by networking on social media, especially LinkedIn.

ALSO READ: How to optimise your LinkedIn profile to land your dream job

7. Offer to help

Don’t be a receiver all the time. Even the Bible says blessed is the one who gives. Your career networking should not be one-sided. Offer to use your skills to help your network. One of them is giving tips on certain topics on the group or page you’re following on social media. You can also join organisations, particularly non-profits (NGOs), and offer your services for free or for a stipend. This way, you’re not just using it as an opportunity to gain more experience; you’re building your network and being useful simultaneously.

8. Stay in touch

Many jobseekers, especially young ones, often mistake exchanging numbers with their networks and waiting to be contacted. That’s a very wrong approach. Once you have a network, try your best to stay in touch. Even if you resign from a job or are fired, stay in touch with your ex-colleagues. Some of them who have connections in other companies will let you know. Even your former manager or boss can recommend you for another job. But you stand a chance when you continue keeping in touch.

9. Attend networking events

That works too. Everything mustn’t be done online. There’s nothing better than face-to-face interactions with normal people like yourself. Make sure you attend events organised by a professional association where you’re a member. For instance, if your alma mater holds alumni networking events, attend. You’ll see old and new acquaintances who share the same goals and are willing to exchange contacts with you. One of them might be that destiny helper you’ve been praying for.

10. Be consistent

It’s not going to be an easy ride. But if you’re consistent, your efforts will pay off handsomely someday. Be willing to put in the work regularly. Even when it seems not to pay off, don’t give up. You’ll be more successful if you’re consistent.

Bottom line

Career networking may seem stressful, but it’s a necessary evil. We should be thankful that you’re in an era where the internet has made everything easier. You can literary make friends with millions of people without stepping out of your house. Networking is great and not only helps you connect with people that can help your career but boosts your confidence in your abilities.

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Nonye is a Thespian, screenwriter, creative writer and an unapologetic lover of books, great movies and sports. She has over 10 years experience in content writing on entertainment, movies, sports and lifestyle. Nonye is currently a content writer at Blackdot Media and founder of
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