LinkedIn and Facebook are great tools and fundamental methods to keep tabs on your contacts and your connections. However, your “real world” connections are also critical to your job search. You’d be amazed at the people that you know who could help you get to a person of influence.
Creating an overview of your current relationships as this year gets underway is a critical step in planning your job search and networking strategies. With this information, you’re going to find contacts that are going to have the leverage you need to get connected with an organization.
Here are some additional tips to help you grow your network
Watch the news
Keeping tabs on your industry is one of the easiest ways to rise above your competition. Knowing trends and news is important in showing that you are a knowledgeable and well read candidate.
You can set up to receive Google News email alerts for keywords or company names in your industry. You can review the headlines every couple of hours or whenever you like to help you stay abreast of what is going on.
The fact that you showed particular interest in a firm could help open doors for you. Every action is a step in the right direction.
Another way to show your seriousness as a potential candidate is to attend industry functions and Meetups. Whether its a local meetup or national convention, it’s a great idea to be around individuals that share similar experience and expertise. Additionally, you’ll be educated on where your industry is headed in the future.
Get the leg up on your competition by finding out when/where these meetups are being hosted. You might even consider hosting a meetup yourself. I’ve hosted my share of networking events in the past, and they can be done on a relatively inexpensive budget.
There is no magic formula for searching for a job. Tips that are hot now, may not be worth a damn a year from now. However, you can’t escape the fact that the network you build makes you a better professional.
I’ve met a lot of friends, business partners and received some press by utilizing a mixed bag of the tips above. Even if you’re not looking for work, you can stay on top of what is going on in your industry which will ultimately lead to a more successful job search.