The Importance Of Networking During The Job Search

The job search is an interesting time in a person’s life and career. It is a time that can be full of failure and rejection, resulting in some feelings of self-doubt. If you have experienced these feelings, it might be time to reevaluate your job search process and make some changes. One way to do this is to increase your networking efforts.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but when it comes to the job search “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” As much as you didn’t want to believe this and were under the impression that you could get a job based on your experience alone, this phrase is absolutely true. That said, you could very well get a job based on your resume, but in order to improve your chances, networking is crucial.

Although networking can be uncomfortable for some people, it is one component of your ever-changing career that remains consistent. By building a network, you are opening yourself up to many opportunities that you might otherwise not have been exposed to. Networking allows you to put yourself in a position where you can show “what you know.”

Our friends over at TopResume have some networking tips that could make all the difference in your job search. Check out the full article here.

Identify What Networking Style Works Best For You

Let’s face it. Networking can certainly be an awkward experience. You are essentially going up to strangers, introducing yourself and starting a conversation. The great part of networking is that not only do you step out of your comfort zone, but you also never know where that conversation and potential relationship could lead. First and foremost, however, you need to figure out how you network best.

Thanks to resources like LinkedIn and Twitter, networking digitally has become easier than ever. There are also in-person ways to network such as “speed networking” and other networking events. If you’re not sure what networking style you prefer, or that best fits your personality, check out this short quiz that TopResume created to help you out.

Know The “Rules” Of Professional Networking

The point of networking is to create and foster professional relationships. There are some common misconceptions about networking though. No, you don’t need to exchange as many business cards as you can, but you should have some on hand just in case. Another is the belief that you should only network when you need a job. This couldn’t be further from the truth – the best time to network is when you already have a job, which shows your worth.

Further, two rules that a TopResume contributor notes that all networkers should follow are: never openly ask for an interview and never ask for a job. If you do either of these two things, it becomes clear that you are only speaking to the individual for your benefit and to achieve one thing – getting a job. The point of networking goes back to relationships – it is a two-way street.

Follow Up

We cannot stress the importance of following up after establishing a new connection. It is an easy act that is far too often overlooked. Ways to do this include sending someone a LinkedIn connection request after meeting someone with a personalized message or even sending a “thank you” email. Not only will this show that you appreciated the conversation, but it will also bring you to the front of the individual’s mind which can be very beneficial if they have an opportunity in mind. A simple follow up goes a long way and can be the difference between getting hired and passed over.

Although networking can be uncomfortable, the only way to get better at it is to constantly work on it. Sure, it can test the limits of your comfort zone, but as they say, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Your career can do the same.

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