Leaves are starting to turn, the air is crisp and the job boards are filling up with some of the year’s best opportunities. And while fall is a great time to find a job, it’s an even better time to up your networking. So don’t let this season pass you by—here, see why fall should be your season to network and reconnect, and how to do just that.
While fall is a certainly a great time to look for a job, as those key to the hiring process begin returning from vacations, it’s an even better time to network.
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“As the year comes to a close, those making hiring decisions are likely to turn their attention to end-of-year reviews, raises and often budgets will dwindle,” says Shelby Sledge, VP of services at marketing and public relations firm Shelton Interactive. “Fall becomes a great season for networking so that when the new year rolls around and hiring picks up, you’re top-of-mind for a hiring option.”
So, it helps to plan a little more long-term this time of year, working to get your foot in the door with hiring managers for the possibility January hiring.
Up Your Networking
One of the best things you can do this time of year is to get active in your community. This means signing up for events and conferences, and maybe even calling up one of your top companies for an informational interview.
Then, as Sledge says, “make sure you’re taking your ‘face-to-face’ network virtual by connecting with a handful of key people met at an industry event on Twitter or LinkedIn.”
And speaking of social, this is also the perfect time of year to up your networking on sites like LinkedIn—by joining groups and becoming part of the discussion—and on Twitter—by increasing the amount of industry-related news and insights you share.
Check In With Your Network
If you made connections in the past that fell to the wayside, or even jobs you applied to that never panned out, now’s a good time to reconnect.
“I’m often impressed with job seekers who reach out maybe initially to see about a new position and then cleverly stay on the radar in non-pushy ways,” says Sledge.
Sledge talks about a candidate who—after reaching out for an internship when the timing wasn’t right on the employer’s end—did a few things to stay on the radar. “She was savvy to keep in touch by seeking advice in a very authentic way and just generally making me remember our previous conversation,” says Sledge.
And if you’re drawing blanks on how you can reach out to reconnect, Sledge points to a few great ways to do just that:
- Ask for advice from someone in your network.
- Send an update on where you are in your career.
- Send a “this made me think of you” email, where you can share a bit of industry related news or something related to what you and the person discussed previously.
There’s a fine line between being pushy and checking in. To stay safe, just make sure you don’t overwhelm your connections with too many emails or phone calls. And in your communications, Sledge has one simple tip: “Be authentic.”