Heather Claridge’s Guide to Networking

“There is nothing more powerful for launching and building a career than the ability to grow and nurture a professional network in an authentic way”- Heather Claridge.

In the latest issue of Careering, Heather Claridge provides a guide for networking. Her article is aimed towards young adults- sharing tips to tap into the hidden job market. Career professional’s know that 70-80% of jobs are found through networking (Claridge, 2017). For young adults, this is an important statistic because networking isn’t something we think of until after we have graduated or launched our careers. A strong network allows someone to stand out among the crowd of applicants.

Heather Claridge provides four simple tips on networking:

  1. Build Relationships– Events such as the Ambrose Career Fair and Camp Day are key networking opportunities for students. Students have a lot to offer and these events are put on for students to come and meet future employers. Future employers are seeking individuals who are willing to build relationships.
  2. Start with people you know– Student’s know a lot of people. It is important to begin networking with your community. This could include current co-workers, friends, and professors. Ask around about connections and job listings- many employers hire through referrals.
  3. Develop a brand statement– In other words “tell me about yourself”. Plan a pitch statement that is strong. Tell your story in a captivating way to grab attention. This could be done through LinkedIn or on SkillPics (a new networking platform) via a 30-second video. It is not a sales pitch but it is a power statement to attract attention.
  4. Master the art of interviews– Heather Claridge argues this is the best tool to start building professional networks. Meet with possible employers and gain information about the company and/or the possible position. Meeting with employers shows interest upfront and it allows you to create a memorable impression.

Why is this important? Because young adults need to stand out and create personal connections with future employers. Networking will significantly increase their chances of gaining an interview and further, a job.



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