Networks

Networking means building a personal and professional contact network that will help you gain information on your future field of work, benefit from others’ experiences, establish your own aims, and gain advice and tips for your own career, or even receive job offers, etc.

Networking requires time and energy but is extremely worthwhile and is one of the most efficient strategies to start your job search on a good footing. You will have quicker access to information than others, you will hear of jobs that are not advertised, and gain connections with key contact persons that would otherwise not have been possible.

This is how to do it: Draw up a list of relatives, friends and acquaintances, neighbors, fellow students, former colleagues, club members, and people you have met at events, seminars and exhibitions. Don't exclude anyone just because you think they don't know anyone or don't have any information of interest as this may be precisely the person who comes up with an important contact for you. Categorize your contacts according to significance (the most useful) or comfort level (closest relationship), tell everyone you meet that you are looking for a job, and - most importantly - what you are looking for.

Tips

  • Be brave. It takes courage to approach people you don’t know, but it pays off, as each contact leads to new contacts.
  • The Internet can also be of great benefit: You can network online, e.g. with Xing or LinkedIn. Create a profile, search for contacts based on all possible kinds of criteria (e.g. through the contacts of your contacts), and write to people that could be of interest to you. Remember that your profile can also be viewed by others, so ensure that it is professional and informative in order to present yourself at your best.
  • Do not apologize for your networking activity.
  • Don't be egoistic. After all, networking is based on give and take. Think about what you can offer the other person, otherwise the contact will fade.
  • Be active with your network partners but don't only make contact when you want something from them.