Career Advice: Land a job by mind mapping your network

Have you ever heard of mind mapping? We know you are familiar with career networking but if you have never used a mind map for career networking then now is the time! A mind map is an easy way to brainstorm thoughts organically without worrying about order. The idea allows you to visually structure your ideas to help with recall. With so many people currently out of work and looking for a job, we wanted to share this simple (and free) career networking exercise that can easily be done at home while you are social distancing.

Most people start their job search by aimlessly applying to positions online and scrolling through job boards. Our advice would be to start with your network first. Networking is such a valuable way to land a job. It’s how I landed my job here at Freeman+Leonard thanks to a friend that knew I was looking for a new opportunity. Experts say that the average person knows 150-300 people. That’s a lot of people! So why not leverage those relationships.

How to create a Mind Map for Career Networking:

Step 1: Write your target job in the middle circle and start branching out in several different directions. Each direction should include one of the following groups of people from your life. Anyone you know probably falls into one of these groups. When we think of career networking, we usually only focus on people in our industry. But the list below should help you brainstorm all the major areas of your life where you know people and have connections.

  • Family Members
  • Friends (current friends, former college classmates and social club connections)
  • Former Employers/Colleagues/Mentors
  • Recruiters & Staffing Agencies
  • Customers/Vendors/Suppliers
  • Professional & Alumni Associations
  • Former Professors & College Classmates
  • LinkedIn & Facebook Contacts/Groups
  • Religious Organizations (your church)

Step 2: Start filling in names of all the people you know in each category.

Step 3: Reach out to all your contacts and write a professional note to each one. (Don’t forget to spell check and proof before hitting send.)

We would love to hear from you as well so feel free to send us a note and your updated resume so our team can keep you top of mind during your job search.