Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

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#1 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Post icon  Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:35 AM

So I think professional networking is the #1 way to get a job nowadays no matter your education or level of experience, so I wanted to hear everyones ideas for getting your name out there and building your professional network.

Here are some things I've done:
  • Participate in local user groups to meet people and let them know you exist
  • Present at user groups to share your knowledge and establish yourself as knowledgeable in your professional community
  • Volunteer to speak at local conferences or events related to your niche
  • Participate in forums, mailing lists, and other online communities where you can become recognized as an expert in your niche
  • Be ACTIVE in your social networking circles. Comment, share, friend.
  • Use sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to meet people in your area that you share interests with. Help them when possible.
  • Non-Profit organizations need help. Approach them and ask if there's anything they need done. Do it for free.
  • Stop wasting time on Monster.com and handing out resumes at career fairs
  • Spend that extra time writing for your own blog, guest writing for someone elses blog, etc.

Professional networking is NOT: begging for a job, applying for jobs, attending career fairs.

Professional networking is: meeting people within your industry, sharing your knowledge, marketing yourself, showing people why you should be the one they look to for help.

Share your ideas for building your professional network.

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#2 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:58 PM

View Postskyhawk133, on 11 Mar, 2009 - 10:35 AM, said:

Professional networking is NOT: begging for a job, applying for jobs, attending career fairs.

Professional networking is: meeting people within your industry, sharing your knowledge, marketing yourself, showing people why you should be the one they look to for help.


I couldn't say it better then that. From personal experience, career fairs are absolutely worthless.
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#3 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 11 March 2009 - 02:35 PM

Building a good network also depends heavily on showcasing yourself...in your current role, strive to excel. When you take something on, ensure you deliver. People with whom you work now may move on, and remember who you are. Getting yourself known, building your brand is more than half the battle.

Once you have your network started, begin to make forays into the networks of those in your network.

Very important not to injure the brand, however...better to under promise and over deliver than the other way around. Once your name goes bad, you'd be surprised how quickly that spreads.
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#4 teampoop  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 11 March 2009 - 02:36 PM

One of my favorite speakers on this subject is Gary Vaynerchuk from Wine Library TV. He really lays out how much work and how much reward is possible through networking. Here's a clip of him at the Oreilly Web 2.0 conference last year

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=EhqZ0RU95d4

*This clip is rated PG-13 due to language.
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#5 Core  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 11 March 2009 - 04:02 PM

Another way would be (mostly relates to students) applying for a wide variety of contests and scholarships in a specific domain - there are plenty of them, like ThinkQuest (web-design, sponsored by Oracle) or some sponsored by universities (for example, this year Missouri Southern State sponsors a business contest, that includes web design and computer concepts levels). It will not only make you more experienced, but you will also meet people of your age and knowledge level that are trying to excel in that specific domain.

You will also show the companies that sponsor the competitions that you can accomplish and excel in specific domains.
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#6 markhazlett9  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 12 March 2009 - 03:56 PM

For those of you in Canada, Microsoft puts on a great demo show every month in most Canadian cities called Demo Camp. Grab some business cards and head to them! They are usually really great. And hey if you have an up and coming software package you're working on you could even demo it at Demo camp!

Calgary:
http://barcampcalgary.com/

Toronto:

http://www.democamp.ca/

and there are more just google for your city! Cheers
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#7 Hyper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 12 March 2009 - 04:42 PM

Does standing by HWY-71 with a board and sign count as getting yourself "Out there?"
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#8 fountainoftruth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 12 March 2009 - 04:57 PM

View PostHyper, on 12 Mar, 2009 - 05:42 PM, said:

Does standing by HWY-71 with a board and sign count as getting yourself "Out there?"


Depends on what you're selling. :P

On Topic:
I'm amazed at some of the people in the Computer Science Department at my school. I'm still about a year from graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (with minors in Mathematics and Philosophy) and I'm already trying to get myself out there. One of my friends finished his resume the day before the career fair and expects to get his dream job.

He didn't realize that handing a single resume filled with things you've accomplished because of classes isn't going to make you look like a winner to them.
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#9 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 12 March 2009 - 09:59 PM

View Postfountainoftruth, on 12 Mar, 2009 - 06:57 PM, said:

He didn't realize that handing a single resume filled with things you've accomplished because of classes isn't going to make you look like a winner to them.


Yea... it will suck when he gets the dream job and you, with all your hard work, are left sending out resume after resume.

Resumes are paper. HR managers look at them for a few seconds picking out key terms and judging in split seconds. Networking is FAR more important than an well polished resume. I have seen some of my colleges resumes and am amazed that they are working. A resume written in 20min the day of can be just as effective as one that you slaved over. I myself only got my job when I stopped customizing my resume and tweaking it etc. and just sent out a TON of them (when the company I work for now called I had no idea who the hell they were since I had just sent out a resume to EVERYONE).

Resumes are for HR but in the end the person you have to impress is the technical manager. Having a developer from the target organization hand in your resume speaks far louder than most of the things you may choose to write on the page itself.

(Course... what would I know, I got my job by spamming resumes.)

This post has been edited by NickDMax: 12 March 2009 - 10:01 PM

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#10 MarkoDaGeek  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 13 March 2009 - 07:25 AM

It's funny that this topic was brought up because I seen a commercial last night for the local news about one of them special reports they do on the weekends, and the topic was marketing yourself for a job through social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook etc.

Obviously this concept has hit the mainstream suburbanite, which means it's only going to grow in popularity.
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#11 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 13 March 2009 - 07:50 AM

I was recently approached by a headhunter, and during the negotiation process, he informed me that his company use premium LinkedIn services for much of their recruitment practices...so much so that in the last 2 years, as many as 30% of the resources they approach for these positions are culled from networking sites such as LinkedIn.
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#12 fountainoftruth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 13 March 2009 - 02:51 PM

View PostNickDMax, on 12 Mar, 2009 - 10:59 PM, said:

View Postfountainoftruth, on 12 Mar, 2009 - 06:57 PM, said:

He didn't realize that handing a single resume filled with things you've accomplished because of classes isn't going to make you look like a winner to them.


Yea... it will suck when he gets the dream job and you, with all your hard work, are left sending out resume after resume.

Resumes are paper. HR managers look at them for a few seconds picking out key terms and judging in split seconds. Networking is FAR more important than an well polished resume. I have seen some of my colleges resumes and am amazed that they are working. A resume written in 20min the day of can be just as effective as one that you slaved over. I myself only got my job when I stopped customizing my resume and tweaking it etc. and just sent out a TON of them (when the company I work for now called I had no idea who the hell they were since I had just sent out a resume to EVERYONE).

Resumes are for HR but in the end the person you have to impress is the technical manager. Having a developer from the target organization hand in your resume speaks far louder than most of the things you may choose to write on the page itself.

(Course... what would I know, I got my job by spamming resumes.)


Sadly, he's one of those people who's going to end up lucking into his dream job.
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#13 Hyper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 13 March 2009 - 03:08 PM

He being?

fountainoftruth, I was being serious when I said the HWY-71 remark.
Selling what? Programs (games)! Not for free ($.50 a piece) with the full source code included.
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#14 Pwn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 14 March 2009 - 05:55 AM

View PostHyper, on 12 Mar, 2009 - 03:42 PM, said:

Does standing by HWY-71 with a board and sign count as getting yourself "Out there?"


Only if you're already well-known, then they just call you a gimmick; otherwise, they call you homeless.
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#15 Hyper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Building Your Professional Network - Ideas?

Posted 14 March 2009 - 06:26 PM

View PostPwn, on 14 Mar, 2009 - 07:55 AM, said:

View PostHyper, on 12 Mar, 2009 - 03:42 PM, said:

Does standing by HWY-71 with a board and sign count as getting yourself "Out there?"


Only if you're already well-known, then they just call you a gimmick; otherwise, they call you homeless.


A large wooden board and sign (and "desk-like" thing that isn't a hassle to setup/take down, and is large enough to read like a buildboard, but small enough to move by hand) * sorry for the lacking clarification.
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