Networking and building a professional community is a positive job search strategy and it can help you get a job or other opportunity. Building your network gives you opportunities to connect with people, reach for your goals and be part of something greater than yourself.

Networking is a purposeful activity; you are connecting with people because you a) have something to offer and b) you want something from them. LinkedIn is one of the main professional networking sites, on there you can connect with UofG alumni, people working in the field you are interested in, and see actual jobs and other opportunities.

Benefits of networking:

You may find a mentor

A mentor is someone who knows their industry and is prepared to spend time with you passing that knowledge on. By networking online and in-person you will meet people who are willing to give you a bit of support and guidance during your job search and early career. These people remember what it was like for them and are willing to pass their knowledge on. If you have a great chat with someone, don’t be afraid to ask for their contact details and if you can stay in touch with them or connect on LinkedIn.

You may hear about opportunities that aren't public yet

Sometimes it really is a case of good timing and since many jobs don’t even make it to the advert stage, it might be you who is the right person at the right time. People often recommend people in their network who they think are good candidates. You will still have to go through the formal recruitment process but even if you’re not networking directly with the person(s) responsible for hiring, there’s still a good chance that someone in your network will have the opportunity to make a recommendation.

Insider information

You may be looking at a specific company or may even have applied or got an interview. Identifying a person who works there to check your understanding and to get their perspective on what it is like is invaluable. Ask questions around job role and company culture to see if it is a match for you.

It's great for your labour market knowledge

People tend to network within their chosen sector (although of course you can branch out) which means you become knowledgeable about your sector and the challenges and opportunities it faces. This LMI (labour market information) not only helps with your decision making, it is also a powerful tool during recruitment to show your motivation.

This sort of networking is easy online: join relevant LinkedIn groups or look out for specialist professional forums (often hosted by professional bodies) where you can ask your questions.

When you are using socials try to be active – comment, like, share – that is how you get noticed. It’s a microexperience that can lead to a big result.


LinkedIn’s emphasis, which is different from other networks, is that it is a professional space. It is the only global site that helps you build your own personal and professional brand allowing you to showcase your experience and areas of expertise.

It gives you an opportunity to start building your professional network by connecting with other students, alumni, academics and future employers and turn relationships into opportunities.

You can get more insights to prepare for interviews and keep updated with the latest trends by following potential employers and industry leaders and joining groups.

You will be a step ahead of the crowd and know what to do when it is time to apply for a position.

Find out more and create your LinkedIn account.

Instagram and Twitter

Connect with interesting people and communities you want to be part of. Companies love Twitter and Instagram and are likely to have a presence on here, as are thought leaders/influencers in your field.