7 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Networking As A Jobseeker

A network, in the true sense of the word, is where people want to encourage each other on their professional and personal journeys.

We have recently become involved with Network Cork - a branch of Network Ireland - and have genuinely been asking ourselves, why on earth didn't we join up sooner? 
As a mum working on her own business or thinking about going back to work, Network Cork has been a very welcoming network to join - a network in the true sense of the word, where people want to help and encourage each other on their professional and personal journeys.
'Network Ireland is a progressive, dynamic organisation supporting the professional and personal development of women. Their membership is made up of a very diverse group of women, from budding entrepreneurs, SME owners, professionals and leaders in indigenous and multinational organisations to non-profits, charities, arts and the public sector.'
So, how can networking work for you as you look to return to the workplace?
7 tips for networking as a jobseeker
You can be sure that there is a business network near you and you can also be sure that they will be delighted to see you.
1. Join a business network and attend an event.Find out before you go who is attending and what companies you might be interested in working for. Do your research on these companies and prepare your opening gambit 'I see you have expanded to the French market this year.....etc' and get talking...
2. Don't be shy... everyone is attending these events to mingle and chat. Go alone - best if you don't have a friend to hide behind! Decide what your message is before you attend; do up a business card, even if you are not in business, with your title on it (graphic designer/accountant/administrator etc) and make your pitch short and sweet. The first time will be the hardest; smile and fake it 'til to you make it - it does get easier. 
3. Get busy on social media. Twitter and LinkedIn are probably the best for business networking online. There are great opportunities to link up with senior people in a company by joining in a Twitter conversation...people will remember you if your exchange is relevant, amusing or helpful.
4. Engage in Informal networking - Statistics show that over 70% of jobs are found through networking. Networking can be done anywhere - at the school gate, in the pub, at school reunions and even among extended family and friends. Let people know you are seeking employment or a move, if this is the case. Dropping into a conversation the fact that you are looking for a new role or to pivot in your existing position, can lead to possibilities in the wider sphere of connections. Do remember that looking for employment IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT. Us ladies need to think more like a man and not be afraid to sell ourselves and all our positive experiences. 
5. Volunteer. Help out in your local community. Not only will this look good on your CV, but you will also meet people who are altruistic. Use this opportunity to network also and get your message out there.
6. No network that resonates with you close to home? Set up your own. It's easier than you think, particularly with the help of social media. Apart from anything else, if networking does not bear fruit in the guise of employment, you will certainly make friends, acquaintances and future business contacts for building your ongoing growing network of contacts.
7. Do a workshop with like-minded people.Employmum runs Back To Work workshops – check the website for details of a workshop close to you.

Go forth and multiply your network, and enjoy – us Irish are the best networkers in the world!
Helen Walshe is a Senior Recruitment Specialist & Change Manager with flexiblerecruitment agency, Employmum. Based in West Cork and a mother to Leah and Rory, Helen loves exploring the local woods and beaches with her family. Follow her on Facebook

Helen Walshe

Flexible Work Specialist at Employmum.

Read more by Helen
{{ post.excerpt }}
{{ post.content.formatted }}

What is Family Friendly HQ?

Family Friendly HQ is Ireland’s trusted parenting community, dedicated to mums and dads, and families of all shapes and sizes.

Read more about us