How to expand your professional network

It's essential to build your personal brand and network like a boss in today's business world. After all, the most effective method for finding a new job is by networking

However, the problem doesn't lie in understanding the importance of networking but in the execution of networking, and more specifically how can you get new people to be part of your network. Below are some ideas that may help.

Ask those in your current network for referrals.

One of our personal favourite techniques for networking is the friend-of-a-friend technique as that connection is usually a very strong and successful one. Simply asking friends and family if they know anyone they think you will benefit from knowing is the easiest way to enhance your network.

Work on your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn has changed the way we network with many people relying on their LinkedIn network for referrals, introductions, reviews and references, all of which are vital when you're looking for a new job. Anyone you deal with professionally should be added to your LinkedIn network regardless of how long your contact was. It's also an excellent place to learn about possible new employers and their company.

Attend networking events.

Various groups hold professional events which are a no brainer for networking. You can review community calendars online including professional and industry associations. Job fayres are also an excellent way to go. Companies and professional bodies literally go to these events with networking and expanding their network as their main objective.

Never stop looking for opportunities.

But do it right, go straight to the source! Use search engines to find agencies that specialise in your sector - and they don't have to be local to you as a lot of good agencies hire nationally. Follow the companies on social media to keep up to date with industry news.

Join a professional or trade organisation.

People within these organisations share the same professional interests and goals. Once you're a member you'll get access to a membership list which will open up many prospective contacts. These organisations also run regional or national meetings and conferences which are undoubtedly a great way to network. Attendees are all there to meet people like you.

Above all else it's important to not forget that networking is a two way street. You may be looking for help uncovering job leads today but tomorrow someone in your network may be looking for help. The opportunity to meet someone can happen anywhere an at any time so be prepared! That could be the person that changes your life.

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