/ Asked by Rachel
I know I need to really build my network of professional contacts and relationships, and I know LinkedIn is one way to do some of that...but what else can I do to really expand my network overall?
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Monday, June 8, 2015
Trends in business change quickly, but one sure constant is that networking is a key ingredient to success.  LinkedIn is great, it makes for fast contact and easy research.  A robust profile with key search terms brings industry insiders and recruiters alike knocking at your electronic door.  Maybe its time to step out from behind the computer screen.  I have always been a fan of the information interview.  It is a great way to get some inside information into a specific area of interest, or some face time with an established member of your your chosen profession.  Make the request by reaching out not for a job, but for the contact. Your enthusiasm for the industry and desire to become the most prepared you can to enter the workforce should be apparent in your delivery. 

More ways to network?  Good old-fashioned meet and greets, professional organizations, alumni groups...the pattern to note about that is that it is old school face to face contact.  One more thing to think about, you might be surprised by how helpful people you know can be when looking for a job or a new opportunity.  That includes your existing personal networks.  Best of luck!
Answered by Sylvia, Hiring Expert at HP Inc., on Tuesday, June 9, 2015
LinkedIn is a great start! Beyond that I would suggest checking out a MeetUp event pertaining to your interests. Also look for professional forums that are local, for instance SVForum: Bay Area non-profit organization devoted to informing, educating and connecting business professionals in the field of technology. They are a great source to connect with a meet likeminded professionals. There are also mixer type events you should look for: Hirepalooza - San Francisco hiring festival, recruitment conference, and hiring mixer for tech companies. Twitter and Facebook can also be a great source.  These are just a few great ways to meet and build relations with those in the field you aspire to be in.  Good luck! 
Answered by Charlene, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on Tuesday, June 9, 2015
It's great you see the benefits of expanding your professional network.  Using LinkedIn consider looking into the professional networks/groups and if they have any events coming up and be sure and attend.  You can also contact someone you know from the industry and get their insight into valuable organizations to join and become active.  It's important if you join an organization that you are active. You can also reach out to your college career center and ask for contacts from companies that attend campus events, they are often alumne and are very excited to share insight and help out.  You may also speak with local workforce development organizations and see what companies and contacts they may have, these individuals again, are eager and passionate about creating opportunities.  Once you get started building your network the momentum can build quickly.  Best of Luck! 
Answered by Siobhan, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015
LinkedIn is a great way to expand your network, but there are many other methods you can use as well. I would recommend joining professional organizations for the industries that are of interest to you. Many professional organizations have networking events or information sessions that allow you to meet professionals working in these industries as well as other individuals interested in the same type of work. Make sure to also sign up for their newsletters or emails so you can stay informed on the latest updates within the industry you’re interested in. Another great way to build your network is through friends and family. Talk to them about the type of work you’re interested in, or may want to know more about, and chances are that someone within your friends or family circle can help introduce you to a professional within that field. Once you get introduced to them, set up a 15-30 minute phone conversation or meeting with them with a focus on finding out more about the work they do and the company they work at rather than simply asking them to help you find a job. If you show a genuine interest in the work and are able to bring insights to the conversation (from the other contacts you made and information you’ve read), they will probably be willing to help you connect with some of their peers. Before you know it, you’ll have a growing network of professional contacts.

Best of luck! - Raashi, Accenture campus recruiter 
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, June 19, 2015
You are correct that LinkedIn is the most prominent and effective way to build your network, but there are others.  Seek out professional organizations in the field in which you have interest.  It may be a small cost to join, but once you do, be sure to attend in person as many meetings as you can and interact with as many other members as you can.  Another way to expand your network is to join and participate in community based organizations for businesses like a local chamber of commerce or something similar.  Again, this is a way to meet in person with local business leaders who could be a part of your network themselves, but who also will be knowledgeable about others within a specific field with whom you can connect.
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