WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
Many job contacts are made through networking, which with today's technology can easily be done online through the many software tools and free services or in-person. There are benefits to both so it's good to try as many networking options and opportunities available. Increasing your number of contacts and business relationships can really give you an advantage on information about upcoming jobs available and not known yet by other Job Seekers. It can get you noticed by future employers and other staff who may help you get your foot in the door with their company or business.
Find ways to network in-person or virtually at: industry events, volunteering, job fairs, reaching out to previous coworkers or employers, and joining industry related workshops and/or seminars. Social media can also serve as an effective approach to making connections with new people in your industry or to reconnect with people you've work with. For more ideas and to learn of upcoming events in your area or virtually, contact your local Workforce Center or login to Connecting Colorado and view the "Announcements" and "Events" sections.
Networking is utilizing the people you know to help you with your job search. Basically, talking to people about what kind of job you are looking for and in what industry.
This doesn't mean you are asking your contacts for a job, but letting them know you are in the market and ready to consider other job possibilities. Your contacts may already familiar with your work and relay your work ethic, skills, and abilities to potential employers or other job contacts they know.
HOW TO START
View the steps below to learn ways to network and create new career contacts.
STEP 1: KNOW YOUR OBJECTIVE
To start, think about your objective, what you want to say to your contacts, and some questions you may have for them.
Next, prepare an elevator speech:
An elevator speech is a two-minute description of your skills and career goals.
It's an easy way to share what you want to learn from someone who is in a position to help you.
Here's an example:
My name is ____________.
I'm looking for ( a kind of job ) in ( an industry, field, or location ).
I really enjoy ( something about a past job or experience ) .
I'm good at ( a certain job skill )."
After you've briefly stated these facts, you can ask for help or advice.
"Do you have any advice for me?"
"Do you know anything about this company?"
"Do you know anyone who does know about ______________?"
"Can I use your name to contact them?"
STEP 2: MAKE A LIST
Begin listing the people that you know. They may not be job leads themselves, but may know people in the industry you're targeting.
Organize your contacts and start building this network by first listing your closest contacts, that can include immediate family and close friends, until you become more comfortable. Then add to the list and branch out the list with other contacts such as: colleagues, teachers, parents of children‚ friends, friends of friends, former coworkers or employers, etc.
Be sure to track your communications with a spreadsheet or notebook.
STEP 3: BE PREPARED
Make sure you have your résumé and business cards prepared. You may be asked for them once you begin reaching out to your contacts.