Building your Network

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When looking for a job, we can focus on the things that are out of our control i.e. the economy, our competitors or discrimination. Focusing on areas that we can control, help us to empower ourselves and regain a feeling of control. Below are some ideas on how to build your network in order to improve your chances of gaining employment.


Don’t be afraid to let your friends, family, acquaintances and everyone else know that you are looking for a particular position and what kind of skills and experience you have to offer. If you know people working in a company that you would like to work for, ask them to kindly pass your CV on to the HR manager or refer you for a specific role. Also, try networking with employees in companies you would like to work in by attending events, searching online on using networking platforms such as LinkedIn.

Opportunities can pop up in the strangest places. Many job openings are never advertised. The famous saying of ‘It’s who you know that counts’ can ring true in the job search. According to, 85% of roles are filled through referrals – so networking with company employees is key to securing interviews and opportunities.


Your network of friends, family and colleagues is a valuable job searching tool. We network in other areas already, e.g. finding recommendations on good places to eat, finding a good plumber or personal fitness Trainer, we now just need to use this skill for employment.

An already strong network that you have can be your family, friends, previous colleagues or classmates. Each connection may be able to connect you to someone else.


Even though job search networking is one of the most successful ways to find a new job, it can sound intimidating and sometimes seems a little bit scary. Here are some simple steps to start you off:

E-mail, call or meet up with family or friends and let them know you are looking for work and be specific, so that if they hear of something, you will be the first person that comes to mind. Attend events and meetups and mention in conversation that you are seeking employment.

Contact recruiters on LinkedIn with personalised messages.

Message for contacting a recruiter

Hi my name is Maria, I saw your profile on LinkedIn and I was really impressed,  I see that you are recruiting for a wide variety of roles. I am getting in touch as I would really like to work in the area of graphic design. I am a creative and strategic thinker with over 2 years’ experience in branding, design and illustration, most recently I worked Verizon on a short term contract as a graphic designer. I am a proficient Adobe Creative Suite software user, with a diploma in graphic design. I would be delighted to chat with you about my experience and education and see if I am suitable for any roles that you may have. You can message through LinkedIn / e-mail…… or on my mobile…….

Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you.


Message for contacting someone working in your area

Hi there I saw your profile on LinkedIn and I was impressed by your experience and qualifications. I hope you don’t mind me reaching out. I see that you are from Cork originally and working as an accounts assistant with Allianz. I am from Cork too (try to find something in common i.e. home town, same college etc.) and have just completed a course in Payroll and bookkeeping with Griffith College and I am really looking to get into accounting roles in Dublin. I have more than 5-years’ experience as an administrator which involved some accounting tasks i.e. dealing with invoices and calculating the payroll. I would love to have a chat with you to see if you had any tips or advice on how to pursue a career in this area . I would really appreciate it.

Thank you so much.

Volunteer – In this way you will meet new people, even potential employers, gain valuable work experience and skills and it also doesn’t hurt to have it on your CV.

You can check out volunteer options here

and here

Attend events such as jobs fairs, workshops, seminars and company open days.

Join a club or social group to widen your network of friends and colleagues. The website allows you to join groups that have a wide variety of interests.  is also a good place to find free events and new connections.

Take a class i.e. language class or cookery class, this will improve your skills and broaden your network of contacts has a wide array of courses to choose from

Take a moment to brainstorm all the people that you could connect with

Identify the people that may be helpful. You can ask them for a quick chat / cup of coffee. Don’t ask for a job, instead ask for information, advice or insight on how to go about finding a job in your desired area. You can ask them ‘How would you go about getting a role in their company? or ‘How did they get into that role / company?’ If they mention that there are current roles available, you can then ask them directly for a referral and if you can e-mail them your CV to pass on to their hiring manager.

Best of luck.

This article is written by Breda Hegarty and Maeve Murphy 

Breda Hegarty is a fully qualified career guidance counsellor based in Dublin. Breda has been providing expert career counselling and guidance for 15 years, supporting adults to choose the right career and identify their skills. Her expertise is in the area of successful CV and cover letter writing, career planning and interview preparation.

The EPIC Programme

Maeve Murphy a Pre-Employment Trainer with the EPIC Programme run by Business in the Community Ireland. EPIC is a free programme supporting people from migrant backgrounds to gain employment. If you are interested in participating in one of the free programmes contact Livia Bartolomé on 01 8743842 or


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