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Regina Job Search Strategies Forum Report

Networking

Jennison Asuncion, NEADS

“Your brand is who you are and what you want people to know about you,” said Jennison Asuncion. It is often described as a “30-second elevator speech.” In less than 30 seconds, job seekers should be able to describe who they are, what they do, and what kind of work they are looking for.

Asuncion said he finds a business card to be one of the most useful tools in professional networking. He suggested participants should get an inexpensive business card that includes their name, permanent phone number, and an appropriate email address. One networking strategy is to provide contacts with two business cards—one for them to keep and one to pass on to someone else.

Job seekers must understand the difference between social and professional networking. Facebook is a social networking tool and should be used as such. Be careful about posting on Facebook, and check the security settings. Job seekers should ensure whatever is viewable by the public is something they would be comfortable with a potential employer seeing.

“How do you want to be known?” Asuncion asked.

By comparison, LinkedIn is a professional networking tool. Asuncion said he has a LinkedIn profile and has it printed on his business card.

“Networking is an investment,” he said. “You may not reap the benefits immediately.” A network has to be cared for, and job seekers must be active with the people in their network. Asuncion suggested job seekers note how they met the person and any other pertinent information on the back of each business card they receive. Stay in touch with that person. Gather people from different networks for lunch, dinner or coffee. Keep people informed through periodic emails or status updates.

Networking is a “two-way street,” said Asuncion. Job seekers should be sure to show appreciation to their network, thank those who do them favours, and return the favour if possible.

He said participants should begin building their networks now. “Students you hang out with now could end up being your professional network later on.”


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