■ Metro Service / Contributed
Building a strong professional network can help people find a fulfilling job when they are looking to advance their careers. The following tips can help professionals establish such a network.
Recognize networking is a two-way street. Networking can be an effective way to find a new job, and it’s also a great way to help other people do the same. While you’re looking for a new job, if you come across opportunities that aren’t a good fit for you but might be for someone in your network, don’t hesitate to contact them. Your efforts will be appreciated, and those you help might do the same for you if they come across job openings that suit your background.
Build your online profile. LinkedIn, a social media site for professionals, is a go-to resource for human resources officials, and it’s also a valuable way to stay connected with professional acquaintances. Career services professionals advise adding anyone you have worked with to your LinkedIn network. Continue building your profile as your network grows and you work with more people. When others invite you to join their network, accept those invitations.
Update your résumé. Update your résumé as often as you deem necessary. Colleagues you’ve worked with in the past who are within your LinkedIn network may periodically view your profile, and an updated résumé is a great way to keep them abreast of how your career is going. If they can see what you’ve accomplished since you last worked with them, they might be more inclined to reconnect or recommend you for a job opening.
Stay in touch. Professional networks are most effective for professionals who keep in touch with their colleagues and acquaintances. Follow up with colleagues you’ve worked with in the past to see if there’s anything you can do for them or to check in on how a project you discussed with them is going. Staying in touch can shed light on job opportunities or open other doors that might facilitate your job search.
A strong professional network can help professionals advance their careers and help others looking to do the same.