Healthy networks are a community of people who are constantly thinking about ways to support one another’s growth and success. Networking is not telling people you meet that you are looking for a job.

The most successful people view networking as an opportunity to connect with others and share useful information and resources. Networking is not about asking for assistance or collecting names. In the most perfect form, it is about building relationships and helping others. When you network, you should identify contact to build mutually beneficial relationships and follow up with them to nurture the potential for continued engagement and interaction.

Why Network?

Recent research shows that job seekers that are referred are four times more likely to be hired compared to someone who applies for a position without a referral. As a result, networking should be at the top of your list when developing your professional career. Consider how much higher your chances of getting the job you want are when you have established a healthy network. It is important to spend time making connections with people who have the potential to send along your resume for consideration. Remember, networking is about building lasting and supporting relationships.

Where to Network?

You should consider networking any chance you get. Every time you talk with a fellow student, alumnae, coworker, supervisor, or any encounter you have with people in various environments. The key to effective networking is curiosity which can be expressed through effective communication and great questions.

Using Social Media for Networking

Social media is continuously growing to be a useful tool in many professional encounters. Social media gives us a greater opportunity for making connections and increase transparency. You should use social media as a tool to market yourself and your professional abilities. Any platform visible to profession contact should showcase the message that describes you best.

For more information, see 10 Networking Tips to Help You Make a Great First Impression at an Event