Building and maintaining a large professional network is a must for anyone working in the technology industry – project managers are no exception!
Someone from your network might give you a lead on a promising new job opportunity or advice on using an innovative estimating tool. Colleagues from your network are an invaluable source of help and insight throughout a long career. What follows are a few ideas on strategies for growing your professional network – both online and in person. We’ll also look at some things to avoid.
Make LinkedIn the Center of Your Online Networking Efforts
A well-crafted LinkedIn account – that you keep updated – serves nicely as the centerpiece of your online networking efforts. Treat your profile like the web-based version of your résumé; use keywords to highlight your experience, skills and abilities. This increases your visibility on the network, making it easier for other like-minded professionals to find you.
Join any LinkedIn groups related to the practice of project management. These are great resources for information about the industry, as well as putting you in contact with potential new members of your network. Consider publishing an article or two about your project work on LinkedIn, as this is a great way to become more well known in your field.
Think twice before sending a connection request to someone you don’t know. If you feel the person in question would be a valuable part of your network, make the effort to write a personalized note in the connection request. At the same time, look closely at the profiles of anyone trying to connect with you – make sure they are someone with whom you want to network.
In-Person Networking Is Still Valuable
Focusing your networking efforts on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you should forego “pressing the flesh.” Industry conferences, in-person certification training and even your project team and business stakeholders all provide a great opportunity for additions to a professional network. In the same manner as publishing online PM articles, consider giving a talk at a conference for a great boost to your networking potential.
Ultimately, a large professional network offers many advantages to your career and your relationships can hold the key to long term success and job satisfaction. Hopefully, these ideas inspire your networking efforts now and in the future.
Are you looking for a new job?
When you need additional advice on building a rewarding career as a project manager, talk to the knowledgeable team at The Ceres Group. As one of the top technology staffing agencies in the Northeast, we know what organizations are looking for talented pros. Contact us today or search for a great new job.