Networking is the fabric of our social interactions. It can provide support and solutions to many of our personal and professional problems. People we know share their opinions with us and help us evaluate different options. Acquaintances give us suggestions of what to do in various situations. Job seekers who are “well connected” are often lucky enough to be referred by their contacts to potential employers.
So spending time and effort on your networking can be a worthwhile investment. It can be seen as part of your Human Resources Management. There are two ways of networking with people – online and offline.
The importance of offline networking is often under-appreciated in today’s fast-paced world where people’s attention is focused on their BlackBerry, i-Pad or other gadgets meant to improve the quality of our communication. But if you want to reach a certain person within the Human Resources Management department of a company you wish to work for, offline networking could be your best approach.
There are methods that the Human Resource Management department uses to promote offline networking among its employees. However, you as a job seeker (whether you are currently employed or not) can network with professionals too. Some of the ways of doing so include:
Maintaining family connections is important to our wellbeing. The friendly faces of aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives at family gatherings enables everyone to catch up on each others’ lives – both personal and professional. By maintaining positive relationships with your relatives, they may be able to help you with your job search.
Conferences and Summits attract professionals from specific industries such as pharmaceutical, banking and IT. Most of the attendees were probably sent and paid for by their employer. However, these events are often open to any individual who wishes to register.
Attending such events can increase your offline networking. Conferences and summits offer both formal and informal settings which enable you to interact with professionals on different levels. Visiting events that are relevant to the industry in which you wish to work gives you contact with people you may be working alongside at a later date.
Online networking is one of the most efficient and effective ways of finding a job. Recruiters working in the Human Resources Management departments of companies often search for professionals online. Joining a variety of professional online networks can get you noticed.
LinkedIn provides an extensive platform for professionals of similar industries to interact and strengthen their networks. Facebook too is used by smart individuals to portray themselves positively before potential employers.
Both online and offline networking is important to optimize your job hunt. So use a balanced combination of the two methods to achieve your goal!