How Do You Network for a Job?


Quick Answer

Networking to find a job involves deciding what position you want, reaching out to people in that industry and asking for their help to get it. If a network is not already in place, establishing one should be your first step.

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Full Answer

Building a network involves contacting people in the field in which you want to work. Social media is a good way to achieve this, and professional organizations are helpful as well. Involvement should be limited to a few organizations so that you build meaningful professional relationships rather than superficial ones. If you are unemployed, volunteer or intern for places where you want to work to further widen your network.

Once the network is in place, it is important to decide on your goal. Contact people in your network and tell them exactly what help you need. Asking a former colleague to keep his ears open is not as effective as asking him to contact his brother who owns a business in your desired field. Email is appropriate for the initial contact, but make sure you email each contact individually and include a copy of your resumé. Meet with each contact in person whenever possible, and video chat or talk on the phone if a face-to-face meeting is not possible. Be mindful of your contact’s time, and keep meetings to 15 minutes or less. Convey how your contact can help you, and offer to help your contact in return.

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