Networking done correctly is authentic and creates great relationships.  That’s what you want. Beware of poor networking that is awkward, insincere and detrimental to your reputation.

Here are a few tips to help you feel confident networking.  In this way you will make good contacts within your preferred industry.  At the same time you will find out about the industry from an insider’s perspective.

Targeted networking

  • Attend networking events that are related to the industry that you are targeting.
  • Join LinkedIn and set up your profile if you haven’t already done so.
  • Consider joining a paid level of LinkedIn for a while if you are going to use it to its full capacity.
  • Join a few groups directly related to your professional interests. Start making some pertinent comments within the group so they know you are there.
  • Read the profiles of organizations that you think you might be interested in working for.  You can find them through Google or go direct to their websites. Then on LinkedIn look for appropriate people from these organizations and contact them directly to see if you can have a chat with them.
  • Use online forums related to your industry. You can make comments and make connections with people. This is only useful if the people who are influencers in your industry are using the same forums.  You aren’t there just to make friends!
  • Buy a few business magazines and professional journals and use these for additional research about organizations and senior people within those organizations.
  • Can your job search be public knowledge? If it doesn’t matter who knows that you are looking, reach out to Facebook and other social media connections in your wider circle of friends.

Informational interviewing

  • Contact people respectfully and appropriately through LinkedIn, journals or through anyone you know (friends of friends etc) who work within the industry or companies that interest you.  I emphasize “respectfully and appropriately”.
  • Don’t approach them with the intention of applying for a job. Make it very clear to them that you aren’t looking for a job.  Be sure they understand you are just seeking their expertise and opinion about getting work within that industry.  Therefore it is best if you do it before you are seriously job-hunting.  Don’t expect to get more than 15 minutes of their time.
  • Have a few really good questions ready, but not too many because they won’t be happy if you take up too much time.
  • End on a really positive note and send them a note or an email to say thanks for their time.

BoomersNextStep has many job search posts

You will find many posts that will help you with your job search.  Go back to the menu item – Your Employment – and look at the drop down menu.  All aspects of career change and seeking a new job are covered in those posts.  Wishing you the best of luck with your job search.

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