We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s who you know.” When it comes to landing a job, that’s not always the case, but it sure can help. We could all use that little advantage when it comes to getting the opportunity to see the right person, or getting someone to pay attention to a resume.

Being able to successfully network can be worth its weight in gold when you want to get a foot in the door. But instead of looking at networking as a somewhat superficial way to help your career, focus on the idea that it’s really about building genuine relationships; connecting with others who can be there for you — and vice versa — throughout your career.

  1. Join a Group – Whether it’s a Meetup group, a book club, or a basketball league, being around like-minded people is just plain fun. Participating in clubs and organizations that revolve around your area of work can also help you meet people with similar interests. Remember, it’s about building relationships, join groups that interest you, and more than likely the people you meet will interest you too.
  2. Set Up Exploratory Interviews – Even if a company isn’t hiring at the moment, see if you can get into talk with someone about your goals, your interests, and any advice they might have. Many people like to be helpful and give advice to those who are sincerely interested. In fact, a casual conversation can lead to a position down the road. Ask your contact if they can give you names of their colleagues who might also be willing to chat. It’ll only broaden your network and open up more doors.
  3. Online Presence – Take a look at your connections on your social media accounts. Online platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook provide a great way to see where you might know someone who knows someone. Not only can you begin to develop relationships with people online, it’s a platform many companies use to announce their job postings, and to contact possible candidates.
  4. Talk to Everybody – Well, almost everybody. When you’re out with your friends and their friends, let them know you’re looking for work or a change in career, whatever the case may be. Casual conversation at a concert or a Superbowl party can lead to a potential new contact.
  5. Stay in Touch – This tip is one that is overlooked by many people and yet it can really make a difference. When someone says to call their cousin, make sure you do. When someone says that they can talk next week, put a note in your calendar to call them. When people you meet at parties, groups, clubs, and so forth offer you their business card and suggest you call…do it. It’ll help you network and you’ll impress the person that you actually followed up.

Even if you’re not currently in the job market, don’t take your connections for granted. If you can, offer help or advice to others you meet along the way, too. Let your friends and colleagues know that you value your relationship with them, and that you’re in it for the long haul.

Need more advice on finding the right job for you? Call MassHire Cape and Islands Career Center. We can help. 508-771-JOBS (5627)

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