Although job seekers spend many hours crafting the perfect resume and sending out countless applications, research shows that 80 percent of jobs are landed through networking. Many job vacancies are not published publicly and are instead filled through vast networks of acquaintances, professional contacts, and former co-workers. In short, having great connections matters.
Building a solid network of contacts can provide job leads, opportunities for professional advancement, and even personal growth. But this is easier said than done, especially if you’re just stepping into a new industry.
Fortunately, there’s a way for you to quickly start building a professional network if you’re looking to break into tech. If you’re considering skills training at tech bootcamp Flatiron School, you’d be happy to know that the bootcamp does not only offer rigorous training. It also boasts an extensive network of instructors, alumni, and employers who can lead you to career success.
Flatiron School can help you build and enhance your professional network even before you land your first tech job.Codewars offers coding challenges to reinforce the skills you learned at your coding bootcamp.Join Flatiron School today.
5 Reasons Why Networking Is Important for Your Career
Building relationships is vital in all aspects of a person’s life, including when working toward career success. Here are five reasons why networking is critical for your career:
Find job openings no one knows about
Contrary to what you may know, most employers do not publicly advertise job openings. Many post these vacancies internally, and current employees are usually the first to know when a position opens up. This makes a professional network extremely vital as your contacts can inform you of any job openings in their company.
Access additional opportunities
If you spend time building and nurturing your network, more people will notice you. Being on people’s radars reminds them to reach out to you when an opportunity related to your expertise arises. This opens the door to new opportunities to contact new clients, attract future jobs, and meet potential mentors.
Gain an advantage for future interactions
Networking gives you an advantage when setting up job interviews and work-related meetings. People are more comfortable working with those they are familiar with or have interacted with in the past. In addition, if you are part of their professional network, they are most likely to welcome you and listen to your ideas.
Boost your confidence and social skills
There’s no doubt that confidence is necessary for achieving professional success. When you network, whether online or offline, you are putting effort into meeting new people, which inevitably exercises your social skills. As you become more comfortable talking to new people, your self-confidence will build up.
Serves as a resource center
A vast network provides you with information and insights you may not come across otherwise. A social network like LinkedIn gives you access to the ideas and opinions of professional contacts on industry-related issues, career trends, and the latest industry news.
4 Tips to Build Your Professional Network
Now that you’ve read how vital a professional network is, the next question is, ‘How do I grow my professional network?’ Here are a few techniques to expand your list of contacts and build your network.
Tap into referrals, friends, and former co-workers
This is the easiest way to grow your professional network. Try to put together a list of the people you know personally or have met through work. They could be former co-workers, a person you met at an event, or a friend of a friend. Remember that it’s always easier to get a referral from people who already know you and have seen your skills.
LinkedIn is the first place many people turn to when building their professional network. After optimizing your LinkedIn profile, look for the right people to connect with based on their expertise and industry. Next, make yourself visible by commenting on their posts and sharing your ideas. Once you’ve engaged with them, send them an invitation to be part of your LinkedIn network.
As the name implies, networking events allow you to meet and interact with people within the industry. And the best part, these events are now held online and offline, giving you more chances to meet new people wherever you may be.
Utilize Bootcamp Contacts
Flatiron School offers vast alumni and employer networks that create numerous networking opportunities for its students. Aside from networking with potential employers, students can also interact with alumni and build connections that can help during job hunts or even later in their careers. One of those who benefitted from Flatiron School’s networks is Marco Gaspari.
How Flatiron School Helps You Build Your Professional Network
After graduating from college, Marco Gaspari went straight to Flatiron School. He knew he wanted to get into tech, but he did not want to spend another four years in school. “There were a few bootcamps I was looking at, but Flatiron School stood out. It seemed to have a great community and reputation, which would later prove to be true,” he shared.
In 2017, Marco completed his training at Flatiron School’s Software Engineering program. Completing the technical training, he said, was only the first step to becoming a software engineer. Next came the job search.
This is where Flatiron School’s career services come in. As Marco shared, Flatiron School’s career coaching and vast employer network helped him build a pipeline of opportunities. While his career coach helped guide him through the scheduling and interview process, Marco took the initiative to reach out to various contacts on LinkedIn. It also helped that Flatiron School had an extensive network of employer partners who have complete confidence in Flatiron School’s reputation of producing skilled tech professionals.
In fact, Marco shared that many of the companies had employees who were alumni and therefore were more than willing to hire more Flatiron School grads. “The school definitely helped me land a job. If you’re self-taught, you won’t get access to this [assistance] which makes landing a job easier,” said Marco.
Marco shared that having the right network and connections significantly helped, especially during the first job hunt. “When you’re hired with no experience, the company is taking a gamble, hoping that you’ll learn quickly and become valuable. [But] having someone who can vouch for you only makes that sell easier,” he said.
“Once you have some experience, it doesn’t matter as much because after a year of working, most places will interview you. That being said, having a bunch of friends in the industry is really helpful and can open unexpected doors.”
Now, Marco works as a senior software engineer at Etsy, where he’s been employed for the past three years. “The life that a solid career in tech gives you is tough to beat. You can have a large impact, get paid well, enjoy good benefits, and have a great lifestyle. Having technical skills in a digital-first world makes you an asset,” he said.
Build Your Career with Flatiron School
Breaking into a competitive industry such as tech is easier said than done. Having that networking advantage can make or break your chances of getting hired by your dream company. This makes your professional network vital to your job search and career growth.
But gaining a single connection, especially in a new industry can be daunting. Flatiron School makes this easier by providing students access to an extensive network of employers, students, and alumni who can become part of your professional network from Day 1. Ready to meet your future colleagues and employers? Apply to Flatiron School and start building connections today. To learn more about this fantastic school, check out our Flatiron School review.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.