Using Your Networks
Personal and professional networks serve many important functions. As already mentioned, networking is a powerful tool for job search. Networking enables you to:
- Obtain introductions to key decision makers within a company.
- Gain information on opportunities that may not be generally known to others outside a company.
- Get access to insider insight about how a company works, what it’s looking for, its mission, and so forth.
- Request informal interviews outside the normal “HR umbrella.”
Remember, the power of networks comes from your relationships and who you knowand you potentially know everyone whom each person in your network knows, and in their networks as well. As part of your network list, you may find it helpful track who introduced you to each contact as well as who you introduced them to. (This is where online professional networking sites, covered in the next section, really shine.) All these people are potentially part of your network too.
In addition to assisting the job search process, networking is a great career development tool. You’ll find that those in your network are generally willing to help you with career advice and guidance, mentoring, job shadowing, and references.