The Complete Guide to Networking for Job Seekers

Did you ever feel completely alone while you were surrounded by people?


Did you ever wish to be alone from the people surrounding you?

Everyone has their ups and downs in life. Sometimes we want to stay away from people, sometimes we need people. While you are looking for a job, being alone can be daunting. You might have heard about this saying “ It is not what you know, it is who you know”. Networking is one of the key components of getting a job or at least an interview. Especially if you are going for top 5 companies in your country. Referrals play a big role for recruiters. If you ever find yourself struggling in your career, here is a complete guide for job seekers who struggle to network in their career journey:


Do you ever find yourself criticizing your actions? and as a result; feeling discouraged? One of the biggest problems with “networking” is the self-doubt. During your job search, it is easy to listen to your inner negative voice. Feeling defeated, hopeless and unsuccessful through your negative judgmental inner voice.

Once you have negative thoughts in your mind, it will be super difficult for you to attend events, show up by yourself and even introduce yourself to the “strangers” during happy hours or at the networking sessions.

Everything starts with you.

When you can’t motivate yourself and can’t find a way to shut down your negative thoughts, they will affect your actions and your motivation will never be emerged for networking for your career. Staying away from negative people is another way to kill the self-doubt as well. Some people mix the constructive criticism with judgmental comments. This can be even your “best friend”. You are the protagonist of your life and elimination of self-doubt can only be done by you. Once you accomplish this first step and shut down the negative voice as soon as you are aware of it is a good start. 

Define Your Self:

Before you even fill our the “sign up” form for the networking event that you are planning to go, ask yourself these two questions: “How should I introduce myself?” and “What is my elevator pitch?”

Imagine yourself in an elevator. Going from floor one to floor five. And right next to you is the HR Manager for the dream company that you love to work for. You have less than 30 seconds make a quick intro and mention who you are to spike interest. 

You never know when the opportunity will come and find you. 

Practicing your elevator pitch can be even more important than your resume or your website. Practice and get ready for that moment. Life is filled with good surprises. The moment you feel you can’t open your mouth and pitch yourself, remember this ” what am I going to lose?” Once you define your loss- in most cases, it is just your fears, you will see the positive results faster. During the networking events, you actually don’t have too much time to introduce yourself and have a long conversation. 

If you can get ready for an actual elevator pitch, you will be well prepared for any type of networking event that you will attend in your career journey. 

Give Value:

If you want to be successful during the networking events or asking someone to mentor you during your career journey, remember that -networking is mutual-.Don’t always try to “get” information, mentorship or request for a job. 

From HR managers to hiring managers, these people always have very limited time and it really needs the effort to take their attention. 

Sending a random intro email or reaching out to them various social media channels might not work all the time. When you attend an event, make sure that you researched the key speaker before you go and introduce yourself. If you know what they are currently working on, the topics that interest them, your conversation and intro will go smooth. Remember: everyone is busy but if you give value to the conversation rather than just “asking”, “requesting” a favor, your networking efforts will go smoother. 

Use These Tools:

While in-person networking events can be difficult, especially if you are the job seeker and attending alone. These tools/methods can help you in your journey:

  • Use Social Media and start your “social selling” -make sure you keep a balance and don’t overdo
  • Use “Eventbrite” website to find events related to your career journey. You can even find free events to attend as well. 
  • Take notes. I personally use Evernote and I truly love their design as well as free features. You can sync with all your devices and you don’t have to carry pen/paper in your bag anymore. 
  • Use your elevator pitch in your LinkedIn ‘summary’ section and get feedback before you pitch it in person in a networking event
  • Attend “meetups” locally and expand your network. You can use “meetup” website along with Eventbrite. Be sure to check out the IAW Event Calendar for a virtual event or local chapter group in your area. 
  • Be up to date. There is an amazing app that you can read more about any topic and have an idea briefly. It is called; The Skimm. They are pretty amazing and used by many business professionals daily. 

And, remember:

Don’t let any negative thoughts or anxiety get in your way. Take control of your career journey, today. 

About the author:

Giselle Sevgi is a Social Media Marketing Strategist in LinkedIn and a guest writer at IAW. She holds her MBA degree in Marketing and is an instructor at Stanford University Continuing Studies, for “Social Media for Business” and “Personal Branding” courses.

For more career-related and motivational articles, feel free to visit Giselle Sevgi’s career guide website.

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