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008 Networking

Networking | Building Your Network | Networking on Social Media | Using LinkedIn's Alumni Feature (Video)

Introduction to Networking

Networking refers to the act of building interpersonal connections with people who can help build your career, whether it be helping you get a job or assisting you in your goals with your current career.

As a job-seeker, networking can help to give you a chance to find out about opportunities before they are advertised. This could then be followed up with a speculative application which would put you ahead of other applicants.

Being known to employers through social media or opportunities like recruitment events will also help with your job search. This will help you to overcome the initial barrier and allow you to make an impression outside of an interview situation.

Ensure that you spread the word amongst friends and family that you’re looking for an opportunity. Start with people that you know - do you have any friends or family who work in, or know people who work in that field?

Making a plan

To network effectively, you will need to figure out what you hope to achieve. Knowing the specific kind of information you are after, specific sort of leads or if you just want an interview will make your efforts more focused, and easier for the people you build into your Network to help you.

For this reason, it’s best to avoid speaking to more distant people in your network beyond family and close friends if you are having trouble focusing your job search. Ensure you have clear goals - for instance, to get a specific role with a specific type of company.

Your Existing Network

You already have a network

Even being at the University of Lincoln has introduced you to people who know people who may be able to help you on your career path. Family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and even casual acquaintances are a part of it. Each contact in your network has a network of its own - if someone you know isn’t aware of an opportunity that might help you, they may know someone who does.

Try making a diagram of your network. Start with yourself, then things you are involved with (your studies, your family and friends, your hobbies, your part-time work). From there list out people you know - then list out people you think they know who could help you. From there, you can identify gaps and opportunities in your Network, and work to build it.


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Networking | Building Your Network | Networking on Social Media | Using LinkedIn's Alumni Feature (Video)

Employer/Further Study Research Employer and Further Study Research
Step Two Workbook
Speculative Applications Speculative Applications