Network Careers’ Job Networking Tips

Thinking about a career move and a move to a new location can be both exciting and daunting. Many people say that “finding a job is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever do.” However, finding a job can be a very positive experience if you prepare yourself properly.

We suggest you do the following:

1. Develop a job search strategy. What is your job objective? You’ll need to review past experience, life objectives, personal needs, goals, expectations, dreams, etc. Spend time thinking about what skills you “bring to the table” and how you wish to build upon those skills.

2. Update your resume. Have your resume reviewed and critiqued by others.

3. Networking. Applying for positions online or answering help-wanted ads can be part of your arsenal, but personal networking is the most effective technique for generating job leads. Forbes magazine reported that “informal contacts account for almost 75% of all successful job searches.” The saying “it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know that counts” is especially true during a job search. Because we’ve worked with hundreds of candidates, we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t!

Tips to successful job networking

  • Always have up-to-date copies of your resume available.
  • Have printed business cards with your up-to-date contact information.
  • Consider your job networking as an ongoing journey. It’s important to be networking to grow your professional circle.
  • The quality of contacts always trumps quantity.
  • You know more people than you think: family, neighbors, former co-workers, alumni, professional association contacts
  • Keep a spreadsheet or list of people you have contacted and would like to contact. Keep names, job titles, company information, addresses, email, phone numbers and notes on what was said during your conversation with each contact. It’s a good idea to refer to your list regularly during this process.
  • Work on your “elevator speech” so that you can quickly articulate what it is that you are ultimately seeking.
  • Reach out to your network of alums or other connections and tell them you’re potentially moving to Minneapolis. Ask if they’d sit down with you for 1/2 hour to help you gather information and make additional contacts.
  • If emailing folks, follow up with a brief phone call a couple of days later. Calling at the beginning or end of the workday can be an effective way of reaching someone at their desk.
  • Ask for referrals. Always have a list of target companies you’d like to talk with.
  • The most successful networkers are persistent. They constantly add to their network every time they connect.

Tips on Informational Interviewing

  • Always look your best. Act like it is an interview.
  • Be prepared. Review the company website beforehand.
  • Take along another copy of your resume. Ask for feedback on your resume.
  • Prepare your questions ahead of time. What do you want to learn from this person?
  • Verify how much time you have to talk. Respect it.
  • Ask open ended questions like “What would you do if you were in my position?” “What other companies would you suggest I talk with?”
  • Ask for additional names: at least two. “Do you know of any others who might be helpful for me to talk to?”
  • Show your gratitude. ALWAYS send a thank you note.

Additional Links

State of Minnesota Website:
http://www.state.mn.us/
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
http://www.startribune.com/
St. Paul Pioneer Press:
http://www.twincities.com/
Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine:
http://www.mspmag.com/
Twin Cities Business Monthly:
http://www.mspcommunications.com/

Helpful Minnesota Links:
Minnesota’s Economy
Interesting Facts about the Twin Cities

Useful Job Sites:

http://www.jobsinminneapolis.com/
http://www.indeed.com/
http://www.careerbuilder.com/
http://www.hotjobs.com/
http://www.monster.com/