Network Your Way Into a New Career

Are you stuck in a job you dislike and don't feel like you have a way to break free? You want to start a new career but you’re stuck in the endless cycle of applying for jobs, going on dozens of interviews and nothing has panned out.

We’ll what if we told you there was a different way to find your DREAM career? Today we’re going to tell how you can use networking to change your career, get a job you love, and start doing the work you love.

But before you hit the rounds of professional network events and exchanging business cards, there are 3 important items you want to make sure you have in place first.

1. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

First, make sure you have an awesome profile picture. It may be even worthwhile to get a professional photo taken.  Adding a profile photo can increase your views by 14 times compared to someone without.

Next, compose an engaging, creative summary: Most people will only read the first few lines, so make sure you grab their attention right away.

Lastly, ensure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete. If your profile is fully complete it will appear 40 times more in search results.

2. Update Your Resume

This one may be obvious but something you may want to make sure of is that you highlight the skills that are best suited for the NEW field or position you want. For example, if you currently work in Sales but interested in a career in Public Relations, check a few job descriptions of the role you’re interested in and identify key qualifications that you have that matches that particular position.

The key is here is to have your resume READY.

(Tip: Send a blank email with your resume attached to yourself so at a moment’s notice, if someone requests it, you can easily forward it their way.)

3. Clean Up Your Social Media Pages

A recent survey from Career Builder states that, “75 percent of employers and headhunters screen candidates via social media before they book them for an interview.” Employers are looking for information that supports a candidate’s qualifications, the professionalism of their online persona, and reasons not to hire a candidate.

You want to make sure that you remove any discriminatory comments from your social media profiles related to race, religion, or gender. Eliminate all provocative and inappropriate posts or information—including those from several years ago.  And if your screen name or handle is still sexybitch85, now is the time to update it to a more professional or creative one.

Now that you’ve done the “profile” work above, you’re ready jump into the networking field.  Here are 3 tips to get you going in the right direction.

1. Announce It

If you want to change careers you first want to tell your trusted relationships (friends, family, close colleagues). You’re probably in a situation where you don’t want your current employer knowing your looking for a new job.  But by letting your trusted network know first, you can have them notify you when an opportunity arises while you discreetly put feelers out.

In addition, you can seek targeted career advice from them such as: which headhunters they used, do they have a recruiting agency they recommend, or know of any upcoming networking events to attend.

2. Connect With the RIGHT People

The best networking is built over time. 

You want to cultivate a solid relationship but you also want to have a goal in mind and be very intentional about the people you are connecting with.  Be sure you connect with people who can help you grow or get to where you want to be.

Find other people that do what you do or do what you WANT to do.

Events are fundamental to networking successfully but attending them can be very time consuming and often times wasteful.  Check websites such as Eventbrite and Meetup to find targeted professional events in the industry you desire.  This will instantly plug you in to the right people, eliminate insignificant events, and save you time so you can get where you’re going a lot faster.

Don’t forget, networking is a two-way-street and it’s important that your objective isn’t self-serving.  While chatting with someone you want to connect with, ask questions and end conversations with “How can I help?”  Something as simple as offering to help will leave a positive impression and could lead to a long-term relationship.

Take Action—NOW!

While networking over the long-term is preferable, we know sometimes your desire for change is immediate and fostering long-term relationships isn’t ideal.

If that is the case, hit up your LinkedIn contacts and start getting proactive.  Find people within your desired industry.  Connect with them. Read their LinkedIn articles.  Comment on those articles. Look proactively on LinkedIn for HR personnel from companies you may want to work for.  Connect with them too and let them know if there is a posting you are interested in submitting an application.  If you find the person that may be hiring - send them a note on LinkedIn after you connect about why you would love the opportunity to work with them.

(Tip: If you are looking for a job on LinkedIn and the post has a “hiring official” connect with that person as well.)

Even if they do not have an immediate opening, a custom note will get you on their radar the next time a position opens up.   

Are you ready for a change? Then get started today and let us know in the comments your DREAM life and career!

MEL, Attorney and founder of Polished Professionals

Polished Professionals was founded by MEL, an attorney, certified etiquette consultant and small business owner. Polished Professionals is for the modern, working woman to conquer the workaday world with style and poise. You can find all about Polished Professionals' resources for professional women at or follow them

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