“If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there.”
– Robert Kiyosaki
It has been known that networking is a good marketing platform for one’s skills and experience. Networking is not simply outreach to a person or connecting with someone on LinkedIn; networking has evolved in many different areas.
Networking Through Social Media
With the take-over of technology it was inevitable that social media would become a networking outlet. Social Media can be somewhere for you to post pictures with your selfie-stick, but it can also be somewhere to discuss recent issues and expand your professional development. If you are the type of person to post a lot of personal tweets, then maybe a second (professional) Twitter is a good option. Companies and employers want to see that you are serious about a career and it would be a safe bet to say they do not want to see you constantly re-tweeting ‘PrincessProbz’ or ‘TotalFratMove’. Re-evaluate your social media; is it appropriate? If your accounts are officially professional, then connect/follow businesses that interest you or magazines that associate with your career. Professional networking through social media can be a simple way to acknowledge connections that will progressively update your professional development.
Networking face to face does not always have to begin through an interview. It is possible for you to reach out to professionals/employers on your own and receive information about them with a simple conversation. If you were to e-mail a person associated with your future career goals…ask him/her to get coffee to allow for an informational interview. Face to face contact and professional dialogue can remain memorable to that person and could easily lead to future interviews and opportunities. Technology has its positives, but nothing will beat the real-life connection you make with someone face to face.
Networking Through Organizations
Organizations associated with your future career are so important to building your resume. Becoming a member of a professional organization has so many benefits. Most organizations have a student rate for their yearly membership, which makes it much more affordable. Associations can offer professional development opportunities like: forums, magazines/journals, access to networking, and conferences.