You know that having a strong professional network can be beneficial when you’re searching for a job. If you’re ready to build your network, here are some helpful tips to help improve your chances of finding a great job in IT.
1. Be present and visible.
Professionals are often reluctant to draw attention to themselves, but part of networking is being noticed. While over-the-top tactics are likely to backfire, posting on social media and attending meetings are two ways to be visible, and it doesn’t hurt to let your network know when you achieve a new certification or accomplish something else significant.
2. Include online and offline events.
Conferences and organization meetings are prime networking events, but online opportunities can be more ongoing and flexible to build relationships with contacts between face-to-face events and meetings. LinkedIn groups and Twitter chats are two popular options that include a larger number of options for networkers rather than some others that are more one-on-one.
3. Frequent the right places.
Going to places where your networking targets hang out can lead to networking opportunities. Relationships often form when people are in close proximity, whether it’s a coffee shop, a happy hour event, or even a particular online group that will allow you to introduce yourself to the people you want to get to know.
4. If you want to get—give.
Helping others is always the right thing to do, and it usually comes back to you even more than your initial efforts. Doing favors for people and being generous will build goodwill that you may need as you build your career. You never know when an opportunity might come up, and having existing connections can help you get your foot in the door.
5. Ask for what you want.
In many cases, you won’t get what you want unless you ask. No one likes to be told no, which keeps many from asking in the first place. But you are unlikely to hear no every time you ask, so asking means you will be ahead even if you hear no most of the time. Besides, people like to do favors and give advice in most cases, so you may hear yes more often than you think.
6. Follow up.
Follow up goes two ways—it’s important to follow up by making good on your promises and doing what you say you will do, and it’s also important to be persistent in following up when someone has promised to do something for you or when one of your emails gets ignored. Follow-up will directly impact your reputation as a professional and will impact the way your colleagues and peers view you.
7. Think long term.
You may be able to get what you want without long term thinking, but it’s always best to think long term anyway. When you think long term, it’s less likely that you will have one of your previous actions or choices come back to bite you. Integrity and reputation are both enhanced with long-term thinking, and the results will also be enhanced over time.
PC AGE can help professionals get IT jobs through coursework and certification preparation classes. Contact us about our programs to find your path to an IT career.
Rameez Khizer, IT Marketing