The single most important facet of the job-search process is networking. This step might surprise many of those making their initial military-to-civilian transition, especially those with a tendency to jump right in and focus on their résumé development. However, the process of networking is often ignored or not made the priority it should be.
Networking is simply leveraging new and existing relationships by interacting with one another to share information. Don't let the relationship become a one-way street. Make sure you are being genuine and proactive and demonstrate a willingness to help others. Always remember that true networking is about building and sustaining relationships that are mutually beneficial.
One way to connect with your existing contacts and broaden your network is through professional social media channels. Most of us by now understand the necessity of having a LinkedIn profile. However, there's a huge difference between scrolling through your feed and passively accepting requests versus compelling HR specialists, recruiters, and hiring managers to make contact you. The LinkedIn platform is a powerful tool enabling you to:
- connect with a network of over 500 million professionals across hundreds of industries;
- research jobs, people, and companies and discover and join groups; and
- establish your professional identity and build your brand