How to Build a Better Career Network

Career network tips from Lincoln Tech

By Bryan Feilen, Director of Career Services at Lincoln Tech in Indianapolis, IN

“Siri, how can I find a job?”

“Ok, Google – where is the best place to look for a new position?”

We are a society of instant answers. Unfortunately, not everything can be answered through a smart phone or on the Internet. There are still situations that call for interactions with other human beings, and one of them is job hunting. Companies haven’t relinquished all of their hiring processes to computer-based decision making: they still want to meet candidates face-to-face, especially those that come recommended. That’s why networking is still a great way to find a new position or start your career.

We’ve all heard a story that involves a person obtaining a position because they had an “inside connection.” I’ve seen those employees thrive in their new positions for various reasons.  Maybe it is because they feel obligated to perform well, as the reputation of the person who recommended them is on the line. Perhaps the new position has given them a new sense of purpose and a desire to succeed. Getting a job through a mutual connection happens in businesses all around the country, and networking your way into a position can help you too.

Tips That Get Results in Your Career Network

Start by learning how to introduce yourself to someone with a purpose. Once you’ve introduced yourself in the right manner, the conversation tends to lighten up quite a bit and doesn’t feel as awkward or tense.  As the conversation develops, the person you’re speaking to starts to formulate an opinion.  “Could this person contribute to my team?”  “Would they be a good fit for my friend’s new business?”  “This person seems genuine, how can I help them?” Make sure to leave a great first impression, because we all know that you don’t get a second chance at it.

Building a career network when you’re looking for a new job includes making sure you’ve demonstrated a good work ethic and admirable personal skills at past jobs. Be on time, be kind, and work well with others. These types of traits follow you and build your “personal brand.”  Possessing a great personal brand is what will get others to notice you and talk about you.  When others are talking about you, you’ll start to see your network expand.

Here at Lincoln Tech, we help our graduates develop their personal brand and attain a solid network to enhance their career. In a world where instant gratification is becoming more and more normal, employers still want honest, hardworking people.  Many of these employers trust their network of people more than any software program. In the future, ask Siri for a restaurant recommendation, and look for a new job through your career network.

 
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