6 answers

How can I grow my networks?

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I'm currently studying IT software development and will be looking for jobs soon. How can I grow my network and connections so I have a better chance at finding a job in the industry? #job #networking #software-development #job-search

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6 answers

John’s Answer

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Hi Grace,

There are 3 general categories for any job search: geography (where you want to work), industry (the type of business you want to work for), and function (what kind of work you want to do: software development). Usually you can pick 2 as long as you are flexible on the third.

Start by finding companies for which you would potentially be interested in working. Then find people you know or people on LinkedIn with interesting titles that work for that company. The goal here isn't to talk to the CEO or even a VP. The goal is to talk to people who are currently doing what you are interested in. If they are alumni of your school or friends of a friend, that's a great way to introduce yourself. Schedule some time (25-30 minutes) to chat with them. Have questions prepared for the meetings. It's ok to have some general questions that apply to everyone, but try to have some that are specific to that person's job/expertise/company. These meetings are NOT to get a job, they are to learn.

What will naturally happen is you will get to know people who are in the right line of work and they will get to know you. THEN, if you decide to apply for a job with their company, let them know you are applying and ask for any advice they might have. Since you already got to know them, you are still not asking for a job, just advice/guidance. Some of these people may even help you get the job. You gain knowledge and a support/mentoring network to help once you start applying for a job. Now is the perfect time to do it (before you start applying).
I recommend the book "The 2 Hour Job Search." It takes more time than 2 hours to search for a job, but the book is about how to simplify your job search and make it effective instead of overwhelming. Much of the advice above comes from the book.

Best of luck to you!
John

John recommends the following next steps:

  • Find companies for which you MIGHT be interested in working
  • Contact people in those companies for informal discussions.
  • Come prepared with questions for your meetings
  • Follow Up
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Jorge’s Answer

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Start a blog, write about topics that you hear in school that interest you, about your experience in a particular school assignment, your opinion on something related to the industry that you hear in the news, etc. Even if you think your knowledge of a particular subject is very basic, you will be building an online presence that will demonstrate to potential employers that you care about your craft.
Participate in Software Development communities. Dev. to is a great starting point with valuable advice from developers from all over the world.

Jorge recommends the following next steps:

  • Build an online presence by writing a blog.
  • Participate in software development communities.
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Michelle’s Answer

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Hello Grace!
Growing your network is not difficult if you research the most effective and efficient ways to do it. Studies show that "mixers" and networking events aren't as effective as participating in some sort of event with others. The bonds created are more substantial when engaging in an activity, game, charitable project, etc.
Studies also show that the most important connections within your network are not the ones that you have developed the closest relationships with. The most valuable people are the ones that are just acquaintances. This is because the people that you have stronger bonds with usually have the same resources as you - similar connections, similar degrees, similar work experience, etc. Often times, the people that you are loosely connected with are the ones that can assist the most because their resources are different from your resources.
I recommend attending various types of social events to develop your network. It doesn't have to be a professional event. Cultivate the connections you make and offer assistance to anyone that may benefit. Have a balance of people "below" you, equal to you, and "above" you.
I recommend two books: Friend of a Friend by David Burkus and Super Connector by Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh.
The more connections you have, the more connections you will make. Good luck!
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Arun’s Answer

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Make your presence noticeable.
Hang out at the same places the people you want to connect with hang out.
Attend networking events — online & offline.
Be a good listener
Always think about long-term relationships.
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Sreekanth’s Answer

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From my experience LinkedIn is the best place to find connections and grow your network. You can connect with a lot of professionals from different domains and can request their help in getting referred to suitable positions in the industry. Creating a professional-looking LinkedIn account by highlighting your achievements is a great way for people to find you as well. You can also blog through LinkedIn and by posting directly to LinkedIn, you’ve got an opportunity to showcase the audience what you are capable of.
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David’s Answer

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Honestly there is a huge demand for software developers including junior-level ones. Your first decision should probably be where you want to live, if it's even a decent-sized city there will be many software jobs available . . . and all you will have to do is post your resume on a major job site for free to get calls from recruiters. There are more developer jobs than qualified people to do them and you will attract attention if your resume says "software developer" and has some specific programming languages on it, people are searching for you.

If you want to be more proactive than that, use any search engine to find the firms that have developer jobs posted in your chosen location . . . and then use that company name plus the word "recruiter" on a business social network site and you'll be able to get it direct contact with the people who are paid to fill those jobs.

And the best way might be the simplest way . . there are lots and lots of developer jobs posted on job sites, just shape up your resume and send it out!

David recommends the following next steps:

  • Look at the existing job posts for your tech stack
  • See what they require
  • Shape up your resume to match and send it out
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