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Getting Your Voice Out There

A Networking Guide for Business Professionals and College Graduates

Written by Jacob C. Herman

Networking - Photo Credit: StockMonkeys.comProfessional networking might sound intimidating, but it is an important skill that will help to ensure that college graduates and professionals are presenting themselves to potential employers and business associates in the best way possible. Professional networking is communicating openly and professionally with others within your chosen industry. Networking can include attending a job fair, a trade or industry event, attending a conference, a professional luncheon, or through a professional networking website on the Internet. The key difference between a traditional interview and networking is that networking typically takes places outside of the normal office or work setting. Networking gives job seekers an opportunity to meet, talk with, and impress industry professionals, and it gives industry professionals a chance to get to know potential employees in a more casual and reflected setting.

Before heading off to your next professional luncheon or job fair, it is important that all job seekers understand the impact networking can make on their career. While the atmosphere may be a bit more relaxed, it is important to remember that you are in a room with people who could potentially offer you a position with their company or firm. It is important that all job seekers come prepared with the essentials, including business cards, copies of your current resume, and your best manners. The same can be said when using networking websites. Using prompt response times, professional communication and language, and readily available materials, such as electronic copies of your resume, will help to show industry professionals that you are serious about your career. 70% of all jobs are obtained through networking, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The following resources will help you to prepare for the world of professional networking. Why Should You Network?

How to Network

Popular Platforms for Networking

  • LinkedIn — This is one of the most popular and far reaching professional networking websites on the Internet today.
  • Biznik — A professional networking website for entrepreneurs and other professionals.
  • Ortegra — A UK-based website for business professionals.
  • Ecademy — An online community that encourages business professionals to share their experiences and ideas.
  • Professional Networking Links — A list of many professional networks available to business professionals looking to make more contacts.

Do’s and Don’ts for Professional Networking

How to Build A Professional Identity

How to Get a Job

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