Think Your Network Is Too Small? Think Again

Think Your Network Is Too Small? Think Again

One of the exercises I ask my job seeking clients to do is write down who's in their network. After going through this activity, most are surprised by how large their network really is, and the simple things that they can do to extend that reach even further. Related: 5 Ways To Network In 30 Minutes Or Less! If you’re currently looking for a new opportunity, you might consider doing this task as well. Here are the categories that I give to my clients:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Classmates (particularly for young professionals, but more experienced professionals can look to alumni groups)
  • Professors or managers
  • Current and former co-workers
  • Facebook friends
  • Twitter followers
  • LinkedIn connections
  • Other social media connections
  • Other
After they complete this section, I ask them to add up the number of people. In many cases, this quick activity generates hundreds of people who could potentially help with, or at least be made aware of, your job search. Next, we take this one step further and think about our extended networks. These may be people who you know as acquaintances, but don’t necessarily have a lot of personal contact with:
  • Friends of friends
  • Family friends
  • Neighbors
  • People who you have met through volunteer work, participation in community organizations, etc.
  • Other
The next step is to take another look at this list and determine your strategy for making contact with these people in your network. It might make sense to make some generic posts to social media sites about your job search, but you should also reach out to some people individually. For example, determine if there are people who currently work in your desired career field. You may want to send them a personal e-mail asking if they know of any opportunities currently available. The more people you tell about your job search, the better. All of these people can act as “job search agents” on your behalf and help you land your next job. This post was originally published on an earlier date.

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