Yes, it matters what you do and how hard you work. But it’s also who you know.
Networking can help you get your foot in the door at your dream job. And with social media — combined with the pure speed of the Internet — it’s almost essential to expand your network through online sources. It goes beyond friending new people on Facebook and following the newest, trendiest company.
For iPhone owners, LinkedIn has developed an app that keeps all of the business cards you obtain in one place. When you take a picture of a business card with your phone, Cardmunch produces a complete contact entry, along with a possible LinkedIn connection. So rather than letting cards collect dust at the bottom of your bag, you can easily cultivate a contact list at your fingertips.
Klout: The Standard for Influence
Klout is a measurement of how influential you are on different social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and gives you a corresponding number ranking. Besides the ranking, Klout also identifies the topics you communicate about most strongly across the various platforms. Knowing these topics is useful; go a step further and dive into these topics to see the people who are the most prominent in these areas. Connecting with those people is now easier with Klout because you are able to find leading voices in the spheres in which you are interested. Try giving the influencers K+ or find their Twitter usernames to directly communicate with them.
Networking sites catered to your profession or interests
Joining a site that specializes in your field can help broaden your network tremendously, providing an outlet to connect and foster relationships with people in your field that you can’t necessarily meet locally. A great example of this is The Levo League, which gives college-aged women the opportunity to connect with professionals and gain mentors in the field that they wish to pursue. The site offers career advice, Twitter chats with leading women in the professional fields and more, creating opportunities for women to make professional relationships that could further a career path. There are also groups on LinkedIn; find one that focuses on the field in which you’re interested. You can correspond with other group members through discussions and eventually connect your LinkedIn profiles.
Your resume and cover letter may shine, but sometimes it’s about who you know. Develop your network early to increase your odds of meeting the right people who can help you land that dream job.
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