It’s summertime and the living is easy. If you are searching for a new job it can still be a bit stressful but the timing is ideal to build and expand your network. Your networking will likely lead to your next job.
- Focus and Plan: This summer, commit to being a bit more focused in your networking. Increase your likelihood of success by defining a plan. Identify and prioritize target companies. Be sure to consider companies of different sizes. Also consider industries aligned with your target industry. Once you have your list of top companies, utilize resources such as Linked In and alumni networks to identify contacts within those target companies.
- Informational Interviews: Reach out to individuals you identified at your target companies and request informational interviews. Schedule half hour meetings to learn more about their company, industry and personal career path. Ask who else they think you should talk to about your field of interest. Build a strong network in your target companies to support your search.
- Summer Social Activities – Your job search doesn’t have to be all business. With the warmer weather comes an increase in social activities. Take advantage of those events to introduce yourself to new people. Ask them where they work and what they do. If there is a logical connection, ask if you can schedule an informational interview. Be sure friends and family members know what you are looking for so they can leverage connections as well. They may have strong connections at some of your target companies.
- Professional Associations – Identify relevant professional associations for your area of focus and participate in meetings to meet others in your field. Many groups have more social activities in the summer so this is a great opportunity to get to know people and to learn about careers in your field.
- Be Prepared – Before your information interview sessions, do your research. Learn about the company by reviewing their website and other business sites. Have questions prepared. Think about what you want to learn about the company and to gain perspective on what it is like to work there.
- Say Thank You – Don’t take summer’s casual nature to the extreme. It is still important to say thank you to those who share networking time with you. A quick email is fine but it should always be followed with a handwritten thank you note within 24 hours.
Enjoy your summer of networking!