As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I attend a weekly networking meeting called NoCoNet, part of a larger organization called CollectiveNet which provides such meetings up and down the Colorado Front Range. Networking is considered one of the most important things you can do in your job search. When your at the entry level or in a new geographic region (I’m both), networking becomes both more important and more difficult.
It’s more important to network because you are new to the game and opportunities may not be as obvious as they are to others. Developing a strong local network in your industry will help identify opportunities that may not be listed, companies that you may not have considered or even known about, and possibly get your foot in the door. I’ve built my network up a great deal over the last year by attending NoCoNet. While its not industry specific (IT and engineering seem to be the dominant fields in the group), it has provided me with a couple of more industry-specific contacts. One was an employee at a company (Golder Associates) on my target list who works in a different division/office. The other is a local college professor who is affiliated with another company (Tetra Tech) on my list.