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Using Professional Networks

Professional networking websites focus on business, career and professional interests. These sites are useful if you’re looking for work in a professional or management position.

Recruiters and human resources professionals use professional networking websites to fill positions and search for passive candidates. These are people who are working, but who might be interested in changing jobs.

Professional networking websites are networking sites, not job search sites. This means that you can post your profile and build your online network without alerting your current employer that you’re looking for work.

Here are some of the things you can do on a professional networking websites.

  • Register and create a professional profile that functions like your resumé. Because security and confidentiality are an issue online, be sure to check out the websites privacy policy before you register.
  • Search for friends, colleagues, classmates and other contacts who are also on the website. Your friends and colleagues can also search for you.
  • Invite your contacts into your online network. This could give you access to your contacts' networks. 
  • Ask your contacts to introduce you to their contacts. That way, you’re introduced to other professionals by someone you know.

Even though it’s virtual, a professional networking website is still a community. It works on trust, the same way an offline network does. Only invite only people you know and trust into your network.

Next steps

  1. Check out these professional networking websites:
  2. Make the most of a popular professional networking website like LinkedIn.
  3. Be ready to contact a referral when someone in your online professional network provides a lead.
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