One of the best ways to get your foot in the door of a new industry is by networking. Opportunities to network outside of your field aren’t as hard to find as you might think! Let’s hear from our hiring experts to see what their best advice is for networking to break into a new industry.
Hallice, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, takes it back to beginning saying, “Let's talk about networking first. Do you have a LinkedIn page? That is the best way to get started in a new field. Start with your contacts, then your contact's connections. If you met someone at a job fair or industry event, find them on LinkedIn and send them a message. It doesn't have to be long, just something that shows you enjoyed meeting them and that you remember what they said. I would also recommend joining groups that pertain to your interests and the industry you’re wanting to break into.” More from Hallice
Ashlyn, Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, suggests, “One of the easier and most effective ways to network is to join LinkedIn and connect with folks working within the field you're interested in or at the companies you'd love to work at. Reach out to employees and let them know you're simply looking for a little advice or guidance. Ask productive questions. You should also consider joining different networks and attending conferences and events in the field you’re hoping to break into.” More from Ashlyn
Passion & Confidence
Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, shares, “Passion and confidence are key at career fairs and networking events. Present yourself as confident, but not too confident, when networking with potential employers. This can help demonstrate your leadership qualities and demonstrate your passion for the industry or the company.
“You would be surprised how many candidates approach an employer with no knowledge, without having done any research on the company ahead of time. It's important to be mindful of time while you’re attending job fairs. You don't want to spend the few minutes you have with someone trying to understand what their company does or what opportunities they have. Research this ahead of time so you have a clear understanding of what you want and how your previous experience could be relevant or transferable at the company.” More from Ashley
Lina, Hiring Expert at ADP, offers, “Although networking can be intimidating at first, it gets easier the more you do it, so my recommendation is to attend events and put yourself in situations where you can network with others as often as possible. Career fairs and industry associations are definitely a good place to start.
“Since you’re breaking into a new industry, prepare and practice your elevator pitch so you know how to start out a conversation about your transferrable skills and relevant experience. Do research on the companies you’ll be speaking to, career fairs always share the list of companies attending so you can research prior to attending the event. Know which companies you want to talk to, and go to their company website to learn more about them. Go a step further and look at their career site to see roles that you may be interested in and be prepared to discuss them specifically. Nothing impresses me more at a career fair than when a candidate has obviously done their homework before speaking with me.” More from Lina
For more great advice on changing industries, check out our other blog post - Changing Careers: Where To Start
. Most likely, much of your work experience has equipped you with relevant skills that would make you a great candidate in a new industry. Polish up that resume with your transferrable skills at the top and start networking! As always, feel free to ask our experts any questions you have on your way to happily hired.