career networkingWhen looking for a new career opportunity, it’s often not just about what you know, but also WHO you know.

Making the right connections and growing your contact list is key when it comes to finding new opportunities for career progression. Especially if you have your sights set on a particular organisation or sector.

Here are our tips for networking your way to your next career move:

  1. Make The Most Of Your Existing Network

You never know who might able to introduce you to a valuable connection or help you make your next career move. You could already have contacts in your existing network waiting to be tapped.

Put a post out on your social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook asking if anyone knows someone who can help. It’s often surprising how many people actually can help or know someone who can, you just have to ask.

  1. Use Social Media Effectively

Not only can you use social media to tap into existing contacts, you can also use it to grow your network by actively seeking out new connections.

LinkedIn was essentially built for this purpose and their search function allows you to find employees of a specific organisation or mid-senior management and leaders within a particular sector. Find who the key decision makers and ask them to connect, then use LinkedIn’s private messaging service to send an introductory message.

Twitter is also great for seeking out new connections. Follow the key influencers within the sector/organisation and make a point of engaging with them by ReTweeting them and commenting on their Tweets. Also, ask direct questions to get conversation flowing with them and get yourself on their radar.

  1. Go To The Right Places

 If you are looking to get into a particular sector, find out where all the influential people from that sector meet to network, and go there!

It’s a waste of time attending networking event after event if they aren’t the people you actually want to make connections with.

  1. Go Prepared

If you are attending a conference or exhibition, do your research into the guests or speakers that you are aiming to connect with. This is a great way to get the conversation flowing when the opportunity to chat arises and shows you are genuinely interested in them.

Also have some simple, professional business cards printed with your name and contact details on plus your qualifications/main skills. Give these to all the key people you want to add to your network and ask for one of theirs in exchange so that you can follow up on your conversation.

Do you network often? How do you do it and what are your tips for making the most of it? Tweet us, @OXCOM_Marketing!