Through my work with LinkedIn as a Career Adviser, I talk to a lot of people who are in a state of uncertainty about their career path. I find that they are questioning their current positions and unsure where to start with their job search. Or they may be frustrated by applying to positions and not hearing back from the company. The process of writing a networking brief can help.
Why are Networking Briefs Helpful?
Many people have developed resumes to aid in their job search. Networking Briefs are different. They are shorter and provide an opportunity to identify the exact title you want for your next position. The activity of thinking about and writing down your goals, accomplishments and target roles provides an opportunity to get centered and can be cathartic. Once completed, they are a great tool to use when reaching out to connections or attending job fairs.
Tips and Tricks to Writing a Networking Brief
- Your brief should be no longer than one page.
- Start with your name, phone number, e-mail address and a link to your LinkedIn profile.
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and consistent with your brief.
- Give yourself a title that aligns with the position you want and write a paragraph describing your education and experience. This can also be used in your LinkedIn profile.
- List your specialties and passions.
- Identify target roles and companies if you wish.
- List your last three positions under the header Recent Experience.
- Highlight three recent accomplishments and include metrics.
- Have someone you trust review your brief to make sure it is understandable and free from spelling and grammar errors.
- Use bullets.
Now that you have developed a Networking Brief, you can use it to your advantage. Bring it with you to career fairs, conferences and networking events. Research companies where you would like to work and see if you have connections at those companies. If you do, attach it to a LinkedIn message and ask if that person has a few minutes to chat with you. If you don’t, send a connection request to people with titles that match your desired position. Contact me if you'd like a sample.