How Can I Network for Success?

September 14, 2017 Ripple Effect Recruiter
A guide to establishing and maintaining relationships with career professionals

Most job seekers have heard the same advice time and time again: go out and network! But why—and how—should you do it?


Why is networking important?

Did you know that nearly 85% of positions are filled through personal connections, often before the job is even advertised? When you’re on the job market, networking can help you:

  1. Identify “hidden” job opportunities
  2. Learn insider details that allow you to tailor your resume to specific openings
  3. Make sure your application is noticed by the hiring manager
  4. Earn recommendations that improve your chances of getting hired

At Ripple Effect, candidates often reach out to us with questions about our work, company culture, or application process. This is a great way to connect with us and get the information you need to maximize your job search. We know that we’re not always going to have the right job at the right time for some of the great candidates who submit resumes, so using our professional networks is also a great way to keep in touch as new projects and new positions come in.


How do I build my network?

Expanding your social network is important, but how are you supposed to do it? Below are some helpful hints we’ve shared with job candidates for the three stages of networking:


Step One: Find Potential Connections

When building your social network, it is important to talk to as many people as you can. To do that, consider these sources:

Step Two: Make the First Contact

Before reaching out, do some research on the person and have a specific goal in mind. Include these expectations in your first message so your contacts know what is being asked of them. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t put them on the spot by asking for a job recommendation before you even get to know each other. Instead, ask for advice or information, and let any job help happen naturally.
  • Respect their time by keeping your messages brief and making sure your expectations are reasonable. Offer different options for connecting: sticking to email or LinkedIn, setting up a brief phone call, or meeting for a quick coffee.
  • Ask advice on the best way to learn more about their professional networks. For example, at Ripple Effect, we encourage people to follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) or subscribe to our listserv.
  • Always follow up with a personalized thank you note within 24 hours of your conversation.
Step Three: Maintain Your Relationships

Ultimately, your networking goal should be to develop genuine, lasting relationships. The more meaningful your interactions are, the more likely it is that your contacts will put their personal reputation on the line and vouch for you as a job candidate. Find natural ways to stay in touch: send them a news item that’s relevant to something you discussed before, reach out to ask if they’re attending an upcoming career-related event, or think about ways that you can add value to the relationship.

Though networking may feel uncomfortable at first, you will quickly get better with practice, and it will pay off in the long run!

Want to join our network? Sign up for our listserv, email us your questions, or apply for an open position.


Be sure to check back on our Future Rippler site for new job-related articles each month or sign up for our listserv to get job-related information right to your inbox.
Questions? We’re happy to help! Share your job-related or career questions via email, then check the site for answers to our favorite FAQs.

[icon name=”facebook” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]   [icon name=”twitter” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]   [icon name=”linkedin” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]   [icon name=”envelope” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]



Work Smarter. Perform Better.®

CMMI logo

Ripple Effect Communications, Inc.®

9600 Blackwell Rd., Suite 210,
Rockville, MD 20850