Career Hack #5

Networking Trumps Resume Posting

Tim Carr, Chief Lifter, LIFT Agency

When I was looking for my first career opportunity after college, it took me a while to realize that job searching needs to go beyond a finely polished resume. Taking an active role in creating human connections and attending networking events will create more career opportunities than any anonymous job board application.

It’s far more effective to find people who are willing to meet for ‘informational interviews.’ Your career center or alumni association can help you find contacts in career fields you are interested in. There may also be related professional associations or events in your area where you can meet people to add to your network.

When asking for a meeting, be sure to emphasize you are seeking advice, not a job. This is key! While a phone call works, face-to-face meetings are always more effective.

Some questions you should ask:

  • What are the industry trends?
  • What types of jobs are available in the field?
  • What skills or personal characteristics contribute to success?

And always be sure to ask if there is anyone else you should speak with. These related introductions will open invaluable doors.

Be sure to send a follow-up note of appreciation, preferably handwritten.

Continue the cycle of informational interviews and before you know it, you will have a solid understanding of what it takes to succeed in a field. And more importantly, when someone has a new opportunity, you could be top of mind.