We are in a networked society where interaction, both online and in-person, can bring huge value to your career and your personal life. In the last few years a great platform to network in-person has evolved. It has been used on many occasions by executive recruiters and hiring managers to source talent. Meetup.com is a vast platform where hundreds of thousands of networking opportunities are highlighted based on geographic regions and cities, interests, functions and skills.
Networking works. Make it work for you.
How Meetup Works
There are Meetup hosted group events to fit in with everyone’s schedule. Most Meetup groups accept members even if they cannot attend regularly. Meetup, if used sensibly, can be a relevant and major contributor to your job search strategy. It’s free to join Meetup. Complete your profile which allows other Meetup members to understand your attributes, skill sets and what you are seeking. This also provides another opportunity for Google algorithms to pass over your profile and heighten your exposure on the web. It is very important to keep this profile as professional as your LinkedIn presence. It provides an opportunity for you to include relevant buzzwords that relate to your function and sector and also a place to upload a profile picture.
Research Groups Before Joining
Meetup is divided into categories where you can assess which ones are most pertinent to your career goals and functions. Do your research on the groups before joining as you are generally asked to complete a short summary before being accepted into a group. This helps the organizer and group members to get to know you and understand your goals.
Network at Meetup Events
Network at the Meetup events just as you would when attending other networking events. Don’t immediately give out a sales pitch to everyone you meet; use it as an opportunity to build your network. Give before you get. Follow up with key contacts after the Meetup event. These events often seek speakers. Taking advantage of these opportunities enhances your speaking experience and provides you with a platform and audience to increase your visibility with potential key decision makers. It can be valuable exposure for you.
Think About Starting A Meetup
Finally, if you don’t see a Meetup group that appeals to you, organize your own group or share the responsibilities with others to lighten the load of group management. Meetup is a unique opportunity to advance your executive job search plan. Happy networking!