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Networking

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Published: 11 June 2020

A name tag and a cup of coffee

Connecting with lots of people across different companies and industries is often seen as an important way to find the career you want. But how are you meant to do this when lockdown is postponing or cancelling a lot of networking events? Alice Mcdougall, Careers, Employability and Enterprise Manager takes you through her techniques for networking from home.

When it comes to job hunting, we often hear about people who are ‘lucky’ or ‘know the right people’ or were ‘in the right place at the right time’. In reality, these things don’t usually happen by chance. The expression ‘you make your own luck’ is particularly true to the jobs market where, it’s said, 70% of jobs are never advertised. But how do you access the hidden job market? How do you put yourself in a position to hear about these opportunities and be invited to an interview, and (hopefully) a job offer?

Networking

Attending careers fairs, business and networking events and conferences can be great ways to meet people who are relevant to your career ambitions. Although many of these are not possible right now, there are opportunities for getting involved with virtual events.

Social media

Using social media is an ideal way to network from home. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for virtual networking, as well as ‘following’ employers and discovering industry news.

Your personal network

Identify everyone in your network. This could include family, friends, colleagues, ex-colleagues, alumni from your university, the parents of your kids' friends, your running club, your community, your neighbours. Think wide about who you know. Say yes to invitations. Let people know what you are looking for and be curious about other people’s career paths.

Your elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is a short overview of who you are, your skills, experience and ambitions. Although we aren’t suggesting you start giving your elevator pitch to everyone you meet, it’s a good idea to have it clear in your own mind. Be prepared to talk about yourself in a brief way.

Be ready

Have a strong CV ready to send, update your LinkedIn profile, have a business card if you feel you need one, or a website or blog if it’s relevant.

Your current employer

If you already have a job, are there any opportunities for promotion? Is there anyone in your company who could support you with your career plans? Are there other departments that interest you?

Approaching employers

Writing to employers and asking for a specific opportunity, such as an internship or work placement can take a lot of effort. But this can be an effective way of finding the opportunity you want. 

For more information on researching for job opportunities, visit the University of Sunderland in London Careers website. Get in touch at careers-london@sunderland.ac.uk with the team for one-to-one careers help and advice. Connect with the University on LinkedIn.

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