Today’s post comes to us from Andrew Pearl, Certified Resume Writer and Partner at Precision Resumes. UCFs College of Business Office of Professional Development is proud to have Precision Resumes as an official partner and those of you in GEB 3003 will have the chance to hear from Andrew as a guest speaker on Friday
Many job seekers cringe at the mere mention of networking, but networking is becoming more and more critical in today’s highly competitive hiring environment. Though it may evoke a sense of anxiety for some, we are here to remind you that networking is a mindset. Think of it this way: networking involves helping others meet their goals as much as it does requesting for them to help you achieve your goals.
Adopt Networking as a Mindset
If the mere thought of networking gives you anxiety, try adopting a networking frame of mind on an everyday basis, not just during your career search. This will help you more naturally and confidently enter a networking scenario. As you develop a networking mindset, remember the following:
− articulate your goals
− negotiate strategically
− listen actively
− keep a calm head and handle your emotions
− learn how to interpret non-verbal communication.
Identify Potential Contacts
There are a host of individuals you may want to consider as you begin to build your network. Here are just a few to get started:
− Former Supervisors
− Fellow Club/Affiliation Members
− Religious Community Members
From those sources, you will undoubtedly discover more and more possible connections.
Target Contacts Who Match Your Goals
Use your career goals to shape your network. If you know you want to work at Company X, try to make connections with people who work there. Even if you can find only one common link through a friend, volunteer organization, or alumni event, that can give you a leg up on opportunities at that particular organization. Choose networking events to attend based on how well they correspond with your short- and long-term goals as well.
Map Your Network
Remember that any individual you meet may be the key to helping you achieve your career goals, so keep an open mind. Initiate your networking by creating a list of people you know and trust and work from that point. Always consider potential indirect connections, such as an acquaintance of a sibling or close friend, as well; one connection can lead to another.
As you map your network, divide your connections into three levels:
- people you trust most/your closest confidants
- individuals you know reasonably well or who you think can offer substantial support
- casual acquaintances or people you may not trust enough to let them know about a discreet job search; this group also includes secondary connections (people you have met via others in your network)
Once you have segmented your contacts, develop a strategy for reaching out and maintaining communication with each level. Carefully select individuals in whom you will confide specific details of your job search, particularly if you are currently employed and trying to remain discreet about your job search.
These are just a few strategies to help kick-start your networking skills. Feel free to contact Precision for more information and advice.
Andrew Pearl is a Certified Resume Writer and Interview Coach with 9 years of experience in the career services industry. As a partner of Precision Resumes, Andrew has prepared thousands of high-caliber resumes and has helped numerous job seekers achieve interview success. He offers extensive expertise working with IT, finance, legal, PR, and healthcare clientele and possesses a proven track record of success helping government, private, and non-profit job seekers advance their careers through superior messaging, resumes, and interview coaching.
Andrew was recently published in the book 101 Great Ways to Compete in Today’s Job Market, contributing a chapter about identifying and highlighting employer-focused experiences and achievements on job seeker resumes. Additionally, Andrew has held sole writing and editorial responsibility for a $30M publicly traded software/HR company’s Annual Report, RFPs, RFQs, and training materials.