Five Tips to Expand Your Network

2 November 2022

There is more than one way to stand out in the job market. After all, not all opportunities are posted online.

You may have heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” But what if you recently moved to a new community? Or perhaps you don’t know anyone at the companies you want to work for. The answer is simple: reach out. Here are some ideas to help you start networking like a pro.

  1. Make a list of organizations that interest you. Even if they aren’t hiring today, the connection you make can let you know when they are hiring.
  2. Go to the chosen organization's website, read the “About Us” section and see who is featured on the team page. Often, there are senior employees who have an interest in promoting the organization and attracting new talent. If you don’t find their contact information on the company website, you can also try LinkedIn. (Check out their advice for creating meaningful connections on their platform.). 
  3. Request a coffee connect. Reach out to a recruiter or an employee in the type of role that interests you. Ask for a 10- to 20-minute coffee meeting to introduce yourself, chat about their role, the company they work for and why you want to work for them. You can do this over the phone, via Zoom or in person (if they are comfortable). 
  4. Be prepared:
    • Be respectful of their time. 
    • Reintroduce yourself and why you wanted to meet. Remember that these are busy people who may have 10 to 20 meetings in a day. They will appreciate the reminder, and it will help get the conversation started.
    • Prepare some questions. Ask what they did previously in their career and what drew them to the organization. You may find that you have common ground.
    • Research the organization in advance, including its history, what it does and who it serves. In your meeting you can ask questions about its corporate culture, design, changes the person has seen and where they expect to see areas of growth. This may reveal areas in which they plan to hire.
    • Go with the flow of the conversation. There may be great opportunities for you to discover key information about the organization and for the person to learn more about you.
  5. Follow up. This is a key element in establishing a strong network of professional contacts that can serve your career in your chosen industry. Thank the contact for their time. If you remain interested in the organization, let them know that you’d like to hear about any upcoming opportunities that may be a good fit.

Setting up alerts on the WorkBC Job Board is the best tool for ensuring you are aware of upcoming opportunities in your field. However, making a good impression will help you build a professional network of meaningful connections with potential employers. And when your connections advise you to apply for an upcoming job posting, you’ll be more likely to stand out from the crowd.