How to: grow your network

networking

A recent statistic shows that 80% of jobs today are gained through networking. That statistic alone is enough to make anyone invest their time in this. What this shows is that many jobs are not formally advertised. Meaning your perfect job might have come around without you even realising it simply because you’re not putting yourself out there in the right networks.

Referrals are becoming an increasingly popular way to recruit, meaning more and more it’s about who you know, rather than what you know. Networking therefore provides the perfect opportunity to utilise this both online and offline.

Here’s some of our tips on how you can grow your network and make some useful connections:

Offline

Get yourself out there

Joining the appropriate networks and attending relevant events can start getting your name out into the right circles. Not only will that but through talking to new people within your industry you’ll start to build up self confidence, especially when talking about yourself and your skills.

Granted the initial plunge into the networking world may put you out of your comfort zone, but it’s a great opportunity to meet some people in your industry and to voice your interests, opinions and aspirations, all whilst improving your knowledge of your field and the people within it.

Follow up

After an event the chances are you will have met a range of different people and have collected an abundance of business cards. You may have given them your business card too, but don’t wait for them to get in contact first. It’s so important to follow up on any introductions so you can build on the relationship. This shows you are organised, keen and serious about potential employment opportunities.

Quality over quantity

Invest your time finding quality, relevant connections. Your networking contact list should be filled with people you’ve built a real relationship with and have the potential to offer you opportunities to progress your career.
Don’t waste your time getting to know everyone, spend your time wisely and invest in just a few, well-researched connections so that you build up genuine and natural relationships.

Online

Share useful content

There are so many digital platforms that can help you network in an easy and efficient way. All social media platforms are made up of an abundance of rich sources of content that can help you discover more about your industry and share this knowledge with your connections. This’ll help position you as a thought leader and someone others in the industry will look to for information and more importantly to fill job roles.

Grow your connections

Connect with people not just within your industry but interesting people outside of your industry too. Through doing this you can build up a rich list of first and second degree connections for potential job opportunities or simply thought-leaders you can learn from.

Start with your connections with family or friends and note down any avenues or links you could explore that could lead to the branching out into another realm of connections.

Join groups and circles

No matter what your area of expertise there will always be a whole host of networks, organisations, groups and communities waiting for you to join. You can sign up to newsletters for relevant publications or websites you regularly visit and surround yourself with interesting information from your sector.

The most valuable source in terms of engaging with real communities is through social media and in particular, LinkedIn and Twitter. Here you can join conversations and have access to a whole host of valuable people you may never have met in person.

Make sure you’re keeping an open and honest mind about your goals and ambitions when networking. It’s not about fooling people, but about making genuine connections and getting to know others in your industry. Through doing this, you’re opening up a whole world of job opportunities that you would otherwise be missing out on.

Grow your network with us

To make a start in creating a rich and useful network you can follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.  This can help kick-start your network by helping to get your name out there among industry professionals and keep up to date with all our employment opportunities.