Networking is interacting or engaging in informal communication with others for mutual assistance or support. Networking is considered the number one way to gain solid job leads.
Importance of Networking
Approximately 65% of all career leads come from networking. Networking is everywhere — there is no limit to where and when you can network. Everyone is a potential lead. Some people are not as comfortable with approaching people they do not know.
Do not let that stop you - practice will make it more comfortable. Since 2 out of 3 jobs are found through networking, chances are that the person you are networking with found his/her job through networking, and therefore will be receptive to your attempt to reach out to them.
LinkedIn is an interconnected network of experienced professionals from around the world, representing 170 industries and 200 countries. You can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with qualified professionals that can help to accomplish your goals.
When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can then form enduring connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect with you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals and experts. Through your network you can:
- Manage the information that’s publicly available about you as a professional
- Find and be introduced to potential clients, service providers, and subject experts who come recommended
- Create and collaborate on projects, gather data, share files and solve problems
- Be found for business opportunities and find potential partners
- Gain new insights from discussions with like minded professionals in private group settings
- Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals, and
- Post and distribute job listings to find the best talent for your company
St. Louis Resources for Networking
- Strategic Business Network (St. Louis Events)
- Young Non-Profit Professionals Network (St. Louis)
- Gen Next (United Way Young Professionals)
- River City Professionals
Additional Resources for Networking
- Professional Associations
- Alumni Mentors
- Co-workers (both past and present)
- Informational Interviews
- Career Resources Center
- Cold Calling
- Friends, Family/Relatives, Neighbors