Whom to Network With

With Whom Do You Network?

By Dr. Malore I. Brown

Who is in Your Network? Everyone!

  • Professional Colleagues

  • Present & Former Co-Workers

  • Former Professors

  • Professional Association

  • Alumni chapters

  • Sorority/Fraternity chapters

  • Clergy, parishioners

  • Social Acquaintances

  • Parents and friends of parents

  • Spouse, Children and their Friends

  • In-laws and former in-laws

  • Friends of neighbors

  • People at your health club

  • Local elected officials

  • The person you ride the train with or talk to at the bus stop

  • Your doctor, dentist, attorney, accountant, hairdresser, barber, banker…anyone!

Make a list of each of the groups of people you know. Begin with your immediate colleagues, then friends and relatives. Create a document for each group listing names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Then contact each one in an organized way and keep track of when you called and if you spoke to that person or left a message. Schedule time in your calendar to make networking and follow-up calls and list the calls by name with the phone number and referral source.

While contacting your network ask for help in your job search. Most people will be happy to help you. If they don’t know of any jobs at the moment, ask them to keep you in mind. In addition, ask them if they know two or three people you can contact and if you can use their name as an entree to that contact. Then repeat the process by contacting those individuals. If you get a lead or introduction, follow-up by contacting that person.

One librarian suggests: “Make your own opportunities. Organize an event, create a guide, make a web page. Show that you can and do take initiative.”

Don’t be afraid, shy or ashamed to let people know that you are looking for a job and you are available to work immediately.


Posted 3/2/11. Originally written for the American Library Association's Get A Job site, 2009.

This page is maintained by the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR).

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