Making connections in your chosen industry is extremely important in today’s job market where hiring decisions are often made based on who you know and whether or not you’ve been referred.
Networking with people you don’t know can be nerve-wracking, but it’s a good way to get your talents and goals in front of the people you want to work for. Companies may also have a vacancy which they aren’t promoting, or which may have only just opened up.
Go to relevant industry events and talk to attendees and speakers. Although you may not get a successful introduction from everyone you meet, keep trying. Others may recommend you to different people, or bear you in mind for the future.
It’s important to be prepared at events, so make sure you carry out some research before attending. LinkedIn is a useful tool for this, as you can search for people and find out about their employment history. You may also find information that you can use as an interesting conversation starter.