The importance of career networking shouldn't be discounted when you are in the midst of a job search. In fact, career networking should become a part of your daily work and career-related endeavors. Your career network should be in place for when you need it, both for job searching and for moving along the career ladder. Since you never know when you might need it, it makes sense to have an active career network, even if you don't need it today.
Building Your Career Network
Your career network should include anyone who can assist you with a job search or career move. It can include past and present professors, co-workers, bosses, friends with similar interests, colleagues from professional associations, KU alums, or acquaintances you have met via online networking services. Your network can also include family, neighbors, and anyone who might have a connection that will help. One useful technique in building your network with people you don't know if through informational interviews. Check out a complete explanation of informational interviewing
. Additionally, to help you stay connected to KU and further networking opportunities, consider joining the Student Alumni Association
Advantages of a Strong Career Network
Networking contacts can help with more than job leads. They can provide referrals to or insider information about companies you might be interested in working for. They can provide information on career fields you might want to explore or what the job market is like on the other side of the country. Your network can give you advice on where to look for jobs or review your resume. The possibilities are endless.
Keep in Touch - Work Your Network
Don't just contact those who can help when you have just been laid-off from your job or decide you want to look for a new position. Keep in touch with your network regularly - even if it's just a brief email to say hello and to ask how they are doing. People are more willing to help when they know who you are.
Be an Asset for Your Career Network
Networking shouldn't be a one way street. If you come across an interesting article or a relevant job listing, share it with your network. The point of having a career network is to have resources who can help, but, you should reciprocate, whenever you can.
Keep Track of Your Network
Keep track of your personal career network somewhere. Whether it's electronically or on paper, make sure you know who is who, where they work, and how to get in touch.
Online Career Networking
Using online networking sites can be a great way to expand your professional network and enhance your job search. Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and a variety of others can help you get in touch with professionals at specific companies, connect with fellow Jayhawks in your industry, and identify contacts in specific geographic areas. Check out more information on online career networking
Networking in person works too. Job clubs, Chamber of Commerce events, and other professional association events are a great way to meet people and build networks. The University Career Center offers many opportunities you might want to participate in to build your network such as employer led mock interviews, etiquette dinners or career fairs.
Career Networking Works!
Career networking really does work and its importance to have a viable network in place throughout your career and to use your network to your advantage when job searching or exploring career options. Additional topics that will help you in building your network include informational interviews
, online career networking
, and employer research
. Also, take a look at the videos on the right side of the page that give more insight into building a strong professional network.