How to do career networking without spending hours on it
Author: Isebell Gauche
Date: 4 July 2009©
Career networking is the term
used to describe a process of building career related contacts.
Career networking is not just a once off activity while you are
searching for a job. It should be a way of life. Everything you
do should always be considered also in terms of your future. The
guy you just met at the abseiling club may very well be connected
to the MD of a company where you would like to work. As such you
should do the following as part of career networking:
- Hand out career networking business cards whenever the
- Take as many business cards as you can as well as take people's
Facebook or any other social media site details.
- Make a list of contacts with details listed according to what
they do for a living, where you met them, their birthday dates,
what you have chatted about etc.
- Keep in contact with all the people you have met through career
How to keep in contact:
- Email addresses - email once a month at least just to share
- Facebook - regularly; such as at least once a month simply make
a positive comment on the wall of the Facebook contact.
- Drink coffee or make sure you get personal contact with each
of the contacts at least once a year.
- Send birthday cards.
- Keep contact through Skype once annually.
Although it may seem like a daunting task you can make sure that
the contacts will remember you through a birthday card service.
Subscribe to an email or SMS birthday reminder and service. Update
your birthday calendar once every three months and write all the
messages or cards that you want to send in advance. Simply have
the online or mobile birthday service send the electronic cards
to the recipients. You can also subscribe to bulk SMS services and
have the benefit of being able to write all the cards on one day
and schedule delivery for the appropriate days during the year.
Set reminders on your Google calendar ensuring that when the recipients
get the birthday wishes and reply with a thank you note that you
will know what it is about.
When doing the above you will already have your once annual positive
contact. Use Twitter & Facebook in a similar way to share with
others what you are busy with. Regularly update your CV on your
Myspace page, Skype profile, and your Professional linking sites.
Take one day every month to update your records of career networking
contacts and do all the emails on that day as well. Decide who you
will invite to coffee for the next month and set out four or five
hours for that.
In terms of the workplace you will want to get references from
colleagues long before you make a career change or apply for a promotion.
Simply create a short reference letter that has blank space for
the particular job or project, date, and comments. Whenever you
complete a project for a client or have worked on a project with
colleagues ask them to simply fill in the blank spaces and sign.
In this way you will build a long list of relevant references. You
should offer to do the same for them ensuring that they will stay
Use the above tips for career networking to develop a long list
of relevant contacts that will notify you of new opportunities just
as you will do for them.