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How to Properly Use Your Networking Rolodex

Networking remains a fundamental aspect of job searching, and effectively utilizing your networking rolodex can significantly enhance your prospects. In today’s interconnected world, a well-maintained network can open doors to opportunities often not publicly advertised. Here’s how job seekers can adequately use their network.

How to Use Your Network

Maintain Regular Contact

Networking isn’t just about reaching out when you need something. Regularly engage with your contacts through social media, emails, or occasional coffee meetings. This helps keep the relationship warm and genuine, making it easier to ask for help when needed. Share updates about your career, interests, and professional development. This keeps your network informed about your progress and aspirations.

Be Specific in Your Requests

When seeking job-related help, be clear and specific about what you’re looking for. Whether introductions to people in your desired industry, information about a specific company, or insights into a particular role, clarity helps your contacts provide targeted assistance. Avoid vague requests like “Let me know if you hear about any job openings.” Instead, ask for something concrete, such as “I’m interested in [specific role] at [specific company]; do you know anyone there who I could talk to for more insight?”

Offer Value in Return

Networking is a two-way street. Always think about how you can help your contacts. This could be by sharing an article you think they would find interesting, offering your expertise, or introducing them to someone else in your network. Expressing gratitude and offering help strengthens your relationships and makes others more inclined to assist you in the future.

Leverage Social Media Platforms

Platforms like LinkedIn are invaluable for networking. Regularly update your profile, publish posts, and engage with others’ content to stay visible in your network. Use these platforms to reconnect with old colleagues, join professional groups, and participate in discussions relevant to your field.

Attend Networking Events and Conferences

Regularly attend industry events, conferences, and webinars. These are great opportunities to expand your network and meet new contacts who can help in your job search. When attending these events, have a clear goal, such as meeting three new people in your industry or learning about new trends in your field.

Follow Up and Keep Track

After making a new contact, follow up with a thank you note or message. This helps solidify the connection. Keep track of your interactions using a spreadsheet or a digital tool. Note details like when you last contacted them, what you discussed, and any follow-up actions. This helps in maintaining and nurturing your network effectively.

Can we help build your network? Call RIM today!


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