Leveraging Your Skills and Connections to Find Work


You don’t need to be told that getting a job can be difficult in this day and age. Even if you can afford to get a college degree, you’ll face a lot of competition from other professionals when you get out there and actually start looking for work. If you want to become successful, learning how to leverage your skills and learning how to effectively network will come in handy.

Take law student Anya Freeman as an example. During law school, she used to look at her fellow classmates and wish that she had the same networking opportunities they did to market her Russian-speaking skills. After graduating and finding work at Florida law office Coffey Burlington, she was guided by Kendall Coffey and encouraged to found the Russian American Bar Association of South Florida. Now that’s the way to use your skills and connections for good use!

Maybe you don’t speak Russian, but you definitely have your own skills that you can leverage during your job search. Here are a few suggestions on how to do just that.

What are your skills?

What kinds of skills do you have, and where will they take you? The types of skills you possess will determine what kind of network you’re trying to cultivate, the types of jobs you’ll apply for, and the image you’ll aim to create for yourself as a professional.

Note that this is not the same as choosing a career path (i.e., do I want to be a doctor or a lawyer?). Many people have varied interests and therefore a complex, nuanced set of skills with connections to match. It’s all about creating options for yourself!

Participate in your alumni association

Most large schools have alumni networks, where past graduates of that institution can help younger graduates find employment, network with others in relevant industries, and more.

Being involved in your school’s alumni association will create a lot of networking opportunities that will be easy to take advantage of. The advantage, when compared to regular networking, is that you start the conversation with a lot in common already—being from the same school, having a similar background, likely having similar goals, and so on.

Maintain a solid online presence

In this modern age of technology, it is commonly expected that professionals will have their own online portfolios, where their past work and skills can be showcased for potential employers to see. Regardless of the field you wish to enter, obtaining your own website should absolutely be on your list of things to do!

Do a bit of research on other people in your industry (or the industry you’d like to be in) to get a good idea what type of website you should create.

What’s more, maintaining a solid online presence (especially on social media websites like LinkedIn) can naturally create new networking opportunities for you.

What are your tips for using your skills and networking connections to find work? Let us know in the comments section below!

Kendall Coffey – Business Profile

Kendall Coffey

Kendall Coffey is one of the founding members of Coffey Burlington, PL. This business concentrates on complex litigation at trial as well as appellate levels in state and federal courts. Today, Coffey is the Chair of the Southern Distract Conference, on the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.

His previous experience includes serving as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida from 1993-1996. During those three years, he worked on many major cases. Some of these include the Elian Gonzalez international custody battle, as well as the 2000 presidential election recount. Since he has been on many high-profile cases, he has appeared on many well-known television shows such as the Today Show, the O’Reilly Factor, Larry King Live, CNN International, and Good Morning America.

Kendall Coffey is not only a lawyer, but a published author as well. Most recently, he published Spinning the Law: Trying Cases in the Court of Public Opinion. He is also the author of Foreclosures in Florida, which has been published on LexisNexis. He has written several legal articles in different publications, some of which include the Wall Street Journal and Yale Law. He teaches law at the University of Miami, School of Law as an adjunct professor, and has spoken at many other colleges in Florida.

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