Job Networking Basics

While looking for a new job, do not underestimate the power of job networking. The concept of job networking can be confusing because it is typically not a direct link to being hired for a job. Job networking can be intimidating and confusing. Fortunately we have outlined a few key concepts of job networking. To learn more about job networking visit

What is Job Networking?

Typically, job networking consists of people from the same professional field conversing with one another to learn more about new ideas in their professional field. The idea of job networking is to have a great conversation, and then follow up with each of the people who you meet, in order to create a network of contacts. What does this mean for you? Hopefully the people you speak with while job networking will remember you when they learn of a vacant position in their company or in a friend's company.

Getting Started

There are many different ways to network. The easiest way to network is to socialize with the friends you already have. Encourage your acquaintances to invite more people to a barbecue, party, or event. This is a natural way to learn about job opportunities without having to attend a more formal event. If this approach does not seem to be working for you, attend organized networking events. Many industry associations, such as the health care industry, career fairs and networking events to help people learn more about each others careers. Finally, use the Internet as a resource. Websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are great ways to follow the careers of other people. Update your status to say things such as "back in the job hunt, does anyone have any suggestions." The human resources department in many companies will use their Twitter and Facebook accounts to announce new job opportunities. This is the new way to network, use it to your advantage!

Listen and Learn

For people who are new to the professional world, the best way to network is to ask questions. Ask experienced professionals how they got to where they are--people love to talk about themselves and this is a great invitation to let them do just that. Make sure you listen closely to their comments and ask thoughtful questions along the way. People will know if you are merely pretending to be interested. Before your conversation is through, make it clear that you are on the job search. Do not ask if they know of any open jobs, but instead ask if they have any advice for finding a job in their field.

Follow Up

When it comes to job networking, nothing is more important than following up with each person that you meet. Remember to obtain business cards from people, and then write them a letter a few days later letting them know that you enjoyed your conversation with them and would love gain more insight into their field. This will increase your chances that they will remember you when a job opportunity opens up.

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