My Top 10 Tips for Jobseekers: Part Four – Networking


Encore Encore!!! As I recently learned the majority of my Top 10 Tips for Jobseekers series articles were suddenly removed from the original careers website they were on, I’m re-publishing them on my own blog so that jobseekers can continue to benefit. (Big thank you to those who made me aware of this!) Check back next Wednesday for Part Five – Your LinkedIn Profile.

Thus far, I’ve provided tips for the application process. But how do you get noticed beforehand?

It’s so true that it can often be all about who you know. Applying for a job already knowing employees, the culture and company goals gives you a great advantage – and doesn’t have to be painful.

So let’s talk about networking. I know, just the word might make you want to scratch your eyes out with a fork. That’s why I wrote this…

  1. Networking is NOT about asking people to do the work for you. Oregonians are friendly – but no one wants to feel like they’re being asked by a stranger to go find them a job. Approaching networking as a learning experience rather than a solicitation is not only more tactful, it creates a genuine connection.
  2. Get smart. Classes and workshops are great ways to hone skills. Furthermore, you network naturally during these events. Join Meetup if you haven’t already – all kinds of fun groups to join, and if you’re in a “who you know” kind of town like Portland? It can really broaden your horizons.
  3. Attend industry events, and avoid general networking events. Most general events expect you to start conversations out of thin air and cocktails. Like going to nightclubs expecting to meet your spouse, it’s possible, but not realistic. Attending industry events ensures you’ll be mingling with more than just job seekers, AND you’ll have something relevant to talk about with those you meet.
  4. When introducing yourself, show genuine interest. Don’t start off talking about yourself. Keep things conversational, and be genuine. Overselling is off-putting. Get to know THEM!
  5. Bring a friend! I’m a recruiter, but I still get nervous! Go with a buddy and make it social and more fun!
  6. Follow up. I’m amazed at how many people ask for my card, but never follow up. If you’re serious about networking, connect via email or LinkedIn, and continue the conversation.

Hint: Remind them how you met. A recruiter often meets 100+ people at an event – this helps you stand out!

  1. Get involved. Volunteering can translate well into finding people who work in cultures that fit your philosophy and goals. And it is valuable experience for the resume!
  2. Use LinkedIn. Keep your profile updated, and know its features. If you’re serious about networking, consider this a higher priority than Facebook. Just sayin’.
  3. When you attend Career Fairs, do your homework. Learn about the companies who will be there. It’s much more impressive to me to talk with people who have researched us and have smart questions.

Two for PDX’ers: Check out Women in Trades Career Fair and PCC Cascade Job Fair.

  1. Turn the tables. The best way to feel better is to help someone else. Be a connector to others. What goes around comes around.

It’s not always going to feel natural to network, but remember, as in anything new, the more you practice, the easier it gets…promise!

Have questions? Please feel free to comment below or connect with me on LinkedIn!

  One thought on “My Top 10 Tips for Jobseekers: Part Four – Networking

  1. February 28, 2018 at 7:54 am

    This is great. I have a hard time with networking. As a ‘mature’ 30+ something year old university student, I’m trying to use the university as a practice platform. However, on thing I really struggle with is LinkedIn. I never know how much to share, how much to interact with people, and so on. It’s difficult switching from the laid-back conventions of Facebook and Twitter to a more professional social networking situation.


    • March 1, 2018 at 6:54 am

      Yes it’s definitely true, and some people do unfortunately turn it into Facebook or Twitter or they’re talking about a relevant topics. I say go on there once a week and either post something related to your profession or industry or something somewhat relative to what is going on in the world (today for example I posted an article on how pre-existing conditions are being threatened by the current administration’s initiatives… being that this will affect many entrepreneurs and small business employees like myself. I have found a few topic areas that I like to follow (professional women, careers, etc) so that there is often interesting and relevant stuff to respond to. Hope that helps!

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 1, 2018 at 7:00 am

        I was at the career advisor’s who said I should be more involved in LinkedIn, joining groups and the like. Do you find following topic areas help for anything more than information? Do you connect with people for your network via groups?

        Liked by 1 person

        • March 1, 2018 at 7:11 am

          Well my profession is that of a long time recruiter and career coach, so a lot of my interaction is to simply provide some feedback from a recruiter and career coaches perspective rather than to build my network. As I mentioned in my article I’d rather build my network through industry and local events, as those are usually the people I’m going to have more fun talking to and be more relevant to my business. There are some LinkedIn groups that are pretty interactive but personally I haven’t found them nearly as useful as going onto or other local sites that bring people who would otherwise be strangers together. My husband for example recently joined because he has obsessed with science and philosophy and it’s not something I could ever talk about for hours on end like he can – so he found a group on Meetup that goes to various lectures around town related to those areas. Several years back I went to one that was all about homesteading and we put on Garden crawls so that we could see how each other gardened & landscaped ( and – and while most of them weren’t in the same professional world as me, I got to meet new people and it was way less awkward than going to some networking gathering, and a couple I did invite to connect on LinkedIn because you know what- people know people, so it’s not necessarily that that person is going to be your contact but that they might know someone who would be just through random conversation. 🙂

          PS I don’t know your career advisor but I do know a LOT of them here, and many of them have not been in the professional world themselves all that much (or for many years, and as you know Academia is a whole separate universe) so I always say to talk to recruiters and other professionals in the area you want to work about their advice for networking and more, rather than taking what your career advisor says (I’ve noticed that they usually give horrendous advice about resumes for example!).


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