How can I grow my networks?
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
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 recommends the following next steps:
But the idea of networking may sound a little intimidating. Here’s the thing: networking doesn’t always have to mean something formal or intentional, like going to an event or striking up awkward conversations with strangers.
For instance, some of us create a network through friends – the more friends you make, the more possibilities you have to build even the slightest professional overlap. Sometimes, the friends who aren’t your closest friends end up helping you the most in life.
You can start small: ask a parent, friend, classmate or someone else to introduce you to someone. Get to know them. Ask them to introduce you to someone else. And the cycle builds itself.
Other times, asking someone for advice can be the best way to get a job. Curious where your neighbor or someone you admire got their gig from? Want to work for a specific company? Go out of your way to ask a question, or send an email. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
–This answer combines input from a group of marketers with more than 12 years’ experience - all currently working at a global tech company. We hope you find it helpful and wish you the best in all of your endeavors.
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:
All of these answers so far are great. They tend to focus more on the professional side of networking and it is important to know that networking can also be a very fun thing! Most opportunities I have gotten in life have come from friends, communities I am involved with and personal connections I have made. You could consider joining a club, go to social meet ups, get more involved in your community, learn a social hobby, attend a conference for something you are interested in, etc. If these feel overwhelming there are more and more resources to help people get outside their shell and make friends / meet new people (like toast masters). All of these recommendations will also be great practice for communicating and building relationships in more structured or professional environments.
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!
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:
Here are some great ways to increase your chances of finding a job in the tech industry:
1. Join a few software/tech-related student organizations that are offered by your college/university, such as ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), SWE (Society of Women Engineers), etc. Become an active member of organizations by:
- attending networking events and tech talks/presentations
- participating in projects and coding contests
2. Attend all of the career fairs and intern fairs that are hosted by your college/university. This is an awesome way to build relationships with representatives from companies in a face-to-face manner. Attending these networking events allows companies to get to know you better, and it gives you a chance to really sell yourself, what you can bring to the table, and how you stand out from the rest.
3. LinkedIn is great tool to grow your network. It's not only a good place to build lots of connections, but it's also a good place to sort of "advertise" your technical skillset, expertise, and experience that have to offer to potential employers.
I hope this helps. Good luck on your job search!
You have gotten some great information here. I would want to highlight for you two things.
First, while you are thinking about using a network to get a job, also know that you might be a part of getting someone a job. Networking is a partnership. I once interviewed for a job that I believe I would have gotten, but I found that I was not very passionate about the job. It would have been a nice job, but it didn't have some of the benefits and scope of work that I really wanted. Instead of taking the job, I recommended that the company look at someone I knew who had similar skills and a good worth ethic. Maybe you don't have a job to recommend them for, but send them job postings or other insights that might support their careers.
Second, a good way to network is being active in whatever groups you are in. It is not just about going to group meetings or posting to group boards. You should volunteer to do tasks for a business organization that will give you exposure. Start posts and engage with others actively to make more than a simple connection. Networking requires work in the form of ongoing interaction. Networks often begin in places where you work. When you leave a job, you do not have to lose contact with those people. You can use tools like LinkedIn or even other social media platforms to stay connected.
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.