We all know that networking is crucial for getting a job, but do you sometimes look at your 500+ connections on LinkedIn or your 1,546 friends on Facebook and wonder where these relationships are getting you?
Let’s explore the difference between horizontal and vertical networking and the place that each of these hold for helping MPH grads find work.
Horizontal networking is…
- the process of building an expansive network of connections
- like a spider web...each strand gives you a foothold to help you meet the person that will eventually hire you
- appropriately shallow
- best accomplished via social media, such as LinkedIn
Vertical networking is…
- the process of building deep and lasting relationships with people within your horizontal network
- created as you start connecting with contacts via email, phone calls, and in person
- deepened as you invest in important relationships by learning what you can do for a particular contact and then (hopefully!) how he/she can help you meet your employment goals
Even if you aren't actively seeking employment, continue to expand your horizontal network by connecting with new people every day. Deepen your vertical network by reaching out to contacts within your horizontal network. Even a simple email greeting to an old professor or past mentor will help keep that relationship fresh for when you need each other's expertise.