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Networking: pave your way into a new job

Learn about what networking is, the different scenarios you can do it and some useful pieces of advice for using it towards finding a new job. Even if you are a natural or if it is something you have to work on, you can always improve for profiting to the max from what the networking process can offer you.

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 min read
Networking: pave your way into a new job

If you have ever wondered how is it possible that everyone finds a job through a friend or someone they know, wonder no more: it is not magic but networking. You might have heard about the theory of the six degrees of separation that links with the essence of networking. The theory sustains that two people on Earth are separated by no more than six people, meaning that you can reach anyone through a chain of acquaintances of a maximum of six intermediates.

Networking is perfect for you to explore new horizons, possibilities, and ways of securing a new job. Read ahead and find the way to find your dream job through the people you already know or the means you already have. Everything you need to get a job is most probably at hand’s reach.



Net because its members are usually linked and belong to a similar environment.

Work because it is a term usually employed for the labor market and the connexions surrounding work.

-ing because it is an ongoing process that doesn’t have a fixed beginning or end and must be maintained throughout time.

It implies navigating an organized mix of threads to reach a goal or in other words, it is the process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional contacts. Sometimes applying for jobs is not enough and we need to get creative for finding a new job, then the time arrives for professional networking. We can talk about networking as an action or as a skill.


A new candidate has arrived

Starting with the sense of action, we can network in three different ways:

  • Old school style

Getting yourself out there, literally, has always been an option for reaching new people and exploring new career horizons. The possibilities are endless, and technology makes it easier to research all kinds of conferences, events, job fairs, meetups, workshops, and other formats that will allow you to explore further into your expertise and establish relationships with interesting people from your field.

  • Digital genius style

If live interaction is not your forte or you don’t have the time to attend events like career fairs, you can turn to the digital alternative. Nowadays, there are hundreds of websites, job search apps, and job portals from which you can knit your net from the comfort of your desk. LinkedIn is one of the most notorious ones but there are usually more niche options depending on your area of expertise or job, so it would be wise to look for the best sites for you. Some examples of other professional job websites are Glassdoor, Welcome to the Jungle or Simplyhired, which can help you find hiring managers or other interesting profiles that you can try and connect with later. Pay attention to job search tips, job alerts, shoot those likes, shares, and comments to stand out and prepare to get hired!

  • Word of mouth style

We might have mentioned old school style, but this one is in fact the oldest of styles. In some cases, recommendations from a customer, a friend, a family member, someone you met once on a trip or an activity you practised are even more powerful than a Google search or a CV screening session. All of those who know you as a devoted worker are an asset in themselves and already part of your network. Sometimes we need help finding a job and our acquaintances can make the difference.

The ideal solution would be to mix all of them, so you increase your chances of job opportunities coming up.


Nature or nurture?

Now it is time to talk about networking with the sense of skill and, just like any other skill, you can already have it more or less developed or you may have to work to gain it. Whichever the case is, it can be cultivated and perfected even if you are not a natural.

This skill allows you to socialize in a work environment, not only for social purposes but professional too. To improve it, you can prepare a set of questions or topics that might be interesting workwise, either for you or for your potential targets. Talk about what you do, what your aims are, what projects you would like to take part in and don’t forget to ask them too! It is also important to understand that these people are human as well so, even if our goal is to start a professional relationship, treat them as people and not only as potential employers.

Reaching balance is a challenge in this matter, as the goal is to let them know you and approach them too, but this is not your usual “making friends”. The main topic of conversation will probably revolve around work or the professional landscape. However, some connection might be desirable too for a stronger bond and for them to see your strengths further from work-related knowledge. Don’t get stuck on just your work experience, keep it considerate, be open about your goals and intentions and offer your help whenever possible, who knows if someday the favour can come back? In the end, we encourage you to be yourself and let your personality shine through, as maybe that is exactly what convinces recruiters to choose you.

Even if you can’t get a job from networking, you have already won just by trying due to the great number of advantages that it has:

  • Broaden your perspectives
  • Enrich your knowledge of your field and all its moving parts
  • Let yourself be seen where the action is
  • Gain communication skills
  • Meet people with similar interests
  • Shape how you want to be seen, which equals shaping your personal branding
  • Find possible collaborators

The list is endless so, what are you waiting for?


Get yourself out (or in) there

Once you are ready to go, it is time to dive in. But how?

It depends on the type of networking you are interested in. If you want to go to some live events, you can start by searching online for initiatives that call your attention. They can be bigger or smaller, the first option having a greater variety of opportunities and the second being usually topic-focused and leading to more one-on-one conversations. Don’t forget to ask your colleagues about events like this, browse LinkedIn, university websites, and the profiles of trending voices in the field. Depending on your field, you can also spend some time researching if there is a professional association that you can join or keep an eye on.

Prepare for these situations to feel at ease while you are there. Take everything you might need and include paper and pen for taking notes of any information that might be interesting (phone numbers, company names, people’s names…). Of course, you can do it on your phone but an extra place to keep it won’t hurt! Business cards are not as common as they used to, but they are still a nice touch that might help them remember you.

If you want to “work from home” and your operation centre is your computer, then the steps to follow are a bit different. First, unify your profiles in the apps, websites, and platforms that you are interested in. Upload a CV and a model cover letter which are up to date so they can know something more about you besides your CV. If they don’t match, some are updated and some aren’t it gives a sloppy impression. Look for people who inspire you or have reached what you want. This will give you ideas about what you might do or at least will help you have more market information. Try to use the resources you can:

  • Like posts that helped you or are interesting for you
  • Share some too!
  • Write posts so you are not only reposting but actively producing interesting content that might make people look in your direction.
  • Comment and highlight what you liked or found helpful from a post.
  • Look for interesting recruiters' profiles
  • Speak directly to people who interest you specifically and try to engage with them
  • Revise your inbox regularly to avoid missing out and to keep in touch

Lastly, if you want to rely on your already existing net, go for it. This method isn’t as workable as the others because of its more spontaneous nature but there are still things you can do. Start by making a list of all the people you know and then analyse it to find the potential they might have (think of the six degrees of separation, your chance is only six people away from you!). Try to mention what you do and ask people what their occupations are, start conversations around this topic so they remember when they learn about vacancies that could fit you.

The notion of balance strikes again: don’t advertise yourself at all cost but let people know what you do and your intentions regarding work. Solidarity is also a powerful feeling so seize the opportunities to help those who might need it even if you don’t receive anything back (it might come later! or at least it will talk about your personality).

Getting yourself out there does indeed seem daunting at first and it can generate a certain level of imposter syndrome. Maybe we believe we are nothing to write home about, not interesting or that no one will pay attention to us, but our work is as valid as everybody else’s and there is a big difference between showcasing your value and being arrogant. As long as you don’t overdo it, you will be in a safe zone.


A marathon, not a race

Networking is a process and, as such, we have to take care of the whole of it. When we compare it with a marathon it is because going to a workshop, starting using LinkedIn more often or telling all your acquaintances you want another job is probably not going to lead you to having a new job offer in a week, nor a month. Maybe it does, although it is not the usual.

Be patient and try not to get discouraged if you don’t see results right away, the reward will come at the end. A new contact might work out in a year or someone you handed your business card to at a job fair called you six months after that. A collaboration with someone could be the perfect display of your skills, even if it wasn’t your ultimate goal it might prove to someone your value or make them research about you. In the meantime, help others, keep your presence consistent in the medium of your choice and keep broadening your network.


Building a network and profiting from is a long process that requires care, patience, and perseverance. Face it as a side task of your everyday life rather than a priority task to “fulfil” as soon as possible or you may end up frustrated. Focus on your race, don’t rush, do your best and enjoy the process. If you don’t make it to the end of the race at least, you’ll have covered a good part of it! There is nothing to lose from trying, more like the opposite: not ending up with a job doesn’t mean that you didn’t gain many valuable skills and contacts along the way. If you are looking for a place to start, check our careers page to learn more about how we work at Ekkiden and our values for getting some inspiration.