How to Develop Your Network When Looking for a Job
If you’re looking for a job, your personal and professional contacts can play a big role in helping identify new opportunities. By networking, you can develop mutually-beneficial relationships with friends, friends of friends, family members, colleagues, and even strangers. Networking is also a great way to gain access to role models and mentors.
There are four Ps of networking success – Purpose, People, Pitch, and Path. Each of these elements play a key role in developing your network.
Know your PURPOSE. Have an end-goal in mind and be able to clearly explain what you hope to achieve. Be specific in terms of your goals and desires. Are you looking for a job in a particular industry or company? Do you want to pursue a job that’s completely different from what you’ve previously done? Knowing your goal will help you focus your efforts and keep you motivated. It also makes it possible for your network to better help you with your search.
Identify your PEOPLE. Determine who you know and who you want to know to help reach your goal. Make a list of your contacts and identify those who want to help you, have large circles, work where you want to work, etc.
Prepare your PITCH. Take time to figure out how you would answer the question, “What can you tell me about yourself?” This should be a 30-second statement specific to your skills and experience. It should prompt enough interest that a person wants to ask more questions.
Outline your PATH. Select the networking methods you want to use based on your purpose and what will be most effective. Consider offline or face-to-face events like professional associations or meet-up groups based on your interests. Join online channels like LinkedIn or virtual groups to make connections and build relationships.
For more career resources, visit the Manpower Career Resource Center.