2 Minute Tuesday | How To Build a Professional Network

Networking is a crucial part of professional development, and it is the proven hands-down winner of how most people get a job. As an executive search consultant for the heavy civil construction industry for nearly 20 years, I’ve seen firsthand the power of networking. Here, I will share my secrets for building your own professional network.

One of the best tools to begin building your network is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is generally free and easy to use for most individual uses. Create a profile that showcases your skills and experience, and connect with others in your industry. You can also join groups related to your field to expand your reach.

Use your hand held super computer (Yes, I am talking about your mobile phone, which hands down slays my first computer the Atari 800XL (Flash Picture). It is essentially your modern-day Rolodex for organizing and contacting your network. Take a few extra minutes to create groups and organize your contacts correctly so that even if you forget their name you might find them by company. Try to remember to send everyone you meet a LinkedIn connection request. Ditch the paper business card. Have a QR code ready with your contact information. Another cool alternative to a QR code is an NFC virtual business card. Lit is both easy and cheap. Learn to use at least one if not both of these to share your contact information quickly and easily. Keep a copy of an updated resume on your phone and make it easy to find.

Another way to build your network is to connect with subcontractors and general contractors. These individuals can provide valuable insight into the industry and help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments. Talk to your vendors and get to know them. Good salespeople have their fingers on the pulse of what’s going on in the industry, so befriending them can help you grow your network quickly. Your mentor can also be a valuable resource when it comes to networking. Ask them to make suggestions and introductions to others in your field. They may know people who can help you advance your career or provide valuable insights into the industry. Remember to be professional and friendly, even with competitors. You never know who may be able to help you down the road, so it’s essential to maintain positive relationships with everyone you meet in your industry. Attending pre-bid meetings is another excellent way to network. These meetings bring together a variety of professionals in your field and provide an opportunity to connect with others in the industry.

Consider joining a few industry-related associations and attending their meetings. These events provide an opportunity to connect with others in your field and stay up-to-date on the latest news and developments. Plus, they often offer valuable educational opportunities that can help you advance your career.

Look for local or important contacts getting mentioned in industry articles. Take a minute to reach out to their company for email contact and send them a quick note congratulating them on the recognition and just make the introduction and ask to stay in touch.

Keep a digital list and rank contact in order of importance. This is easily done on a spreadsheet and should only take a few minutes to update every week or so.

Finally, When you meet someone that impresses you or that you know is going someone that you would likely use to help you further your career. Send them a quick follow-up text the next day. Going that simple extra step will go a long way when you call them months down the line. Most modern-day cell phones have a text app where you can build a few templates to copy and paste then just fill in the blanks and hit send.

Taylor Maurer

Taylor Maurer

Taylor is a seasoned professional with a strong background in heavy civil construction and recruiting. He began their career in 2004 at Kimmel & Associates and rose through the ranks to Vice President. Taylor achieved numerous accolades, including a record-breaking retainer agreement, C-level placements, and consistent high billing performance. In 2017, he founded HCRC Inc., offering a range of consulting services beyond recruitment. Taylor is also an avid adventurer and family person, with a passion for long-distance backpacking, motorcycle riding, and outdoor activities.