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Build Your Dream Network

Build Your Dream Network

By Kelly Hoey
Do you cringe when you hear the word “networking” even though you know you need to do it? If you think networking is just schmoozing at cocktail parties and other cringe-worthy social interactions, then fear no more! Kelly Hoey, author of Build Your Dream Network, is here to reframe the essential skill of networking for the social media age. Each week Kelly addresses the frustrations and challenges of networking, answers your pressing questions about how to network “the right way”, and shares creative strategies for building meaningful connections, whatever your career or business goals.
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Ghosting And Being Ghosted During A Job Search
A whopping 93 percent of respondents to a recent LinkedIn poll said they had by ghosted by a potential employer during the interview process. Ghosting--the phenomenon of dropping all communication without any warning or reason--is also now being exhibited by job applicants themselves. In this episode, Kelly explains why ghosting is not a sensible career strategy, especially for applicants, and shares three ways to keep communication lines open when you have the sense an employer might be ghosting you.
September 8, 2020
Don't Use Your Network Like A Web Browser
Does the way you ask questions of your network mirror the way you search the internet? In this episode, Kelly shows how your career networking aspirations can run afoul when your treat your network like a Google search and why you need to do more than simply seek fast answers to your job search questions. With an abundance of career information at our fingertips, the challenge is to discard the need for expediency and the illusion that there is a faster or better route (other than putting in the work) to finding the answer you need.  
September 1, 2020
Do You Hate To Ask For Help?
If you hesitate to ask your network for help, you're not alone. This reluctance can stem from feeling we don't deserve assistance or fearing we'll get rejected. Or often we simply don't want to inconvenience the other person with our request. In this episode, Kelly shares how to overcome whatever is holding you back from approaching your network for help and explains how to put forward your ask in a way that won't impose on others and will make it easy for them to say yes. 
August 25, 2020
Stop Asking To "Grab A Coffee" to Land a Job Interview
If you think reaching out to request a meeting over coffee will result in a job interview, think again. This job search advice is definitely out of date (and frankly was never considerate networking guidance to begin with). In this episode, Kelly outlines 5 steps to take before reaching out cold to a prospective employer or networking contact, along with three essential things to include in every cover letter you send. Instead of pursuing the dead-end "coffee date" approach, follow these steps to customize your communications and significantly improve your job search prospects.
August 18, 2020
Closing The Networking Gap
The networking gap--the advantage some people have over others based on who they know or the resources they have access to--persists even in our hyper-connected digital networking world. In this episode, Kelly addresses this gap and examines how we can start to close it, from improving the accessibility of online and in-person events to focusing more on being more inclusive and actively pulling people into networking conversations, instead of them having to muster up the courage to break the ice and join in. 
August 11, 2020
How to Network at Online Conferences and Virtual Events
Is it still even possible to network and connect with others at conferences and events, now that they've mostly gone online for the time being? The answer is yes, and Kelly's digital networking strategies in this episode will help you maximize the many opportunities to do so before, during, and after any virtual event. Covering everything from leveraging conference apps and social media in order to find other attendees who could be valuable connections to knowing the proper etiquette for posting a question in a chat, Kelly provides deceptively simple suggestions you can start implementing today to continue building your dream network.
August 4, 2020
Think Like A Marketer
Networking can sometimes feel like sales. In this episode, Kelly challenges you to ditch the selling mode for some marketing savvy and approach networking like a strategic marketer instead.  By following Kelly's tips advice on thinking carefully about your networking goals, researching and analyzing your audience (aka, your target network), and understanding their needs well before you reach out, you'll be far more successful in your networking efforts and avoid key mistakes your sales-y peers are likely making.
July 28, 2020
The Power of Peer Networks
Your most important career network is one you're likely ignoring: your peers. This week on the podcast, Kelly explains why you should be actively sharing information with your peers and offers with three effective networking challenges for you to support, cultivate and promote your powerful peer network. 
July 21, 2020
Listener Questions about Networking
In this episode, Kelly answers several listener questions she's received, including requests for advice from a stay-at-home mom returning to work, a recent undergrad who studied overseas and doesn't know how to kick-start the job search process back home in the US, and a listener wondering how to gracefully exit an awkward networking conversation.
July 14, 2020
Ditch the Boring Bio
When everyone's professional bios look the same, does anyone stand out? Following industry norms and expectations when it comes to drafting your bio could be stifling your ability to connect authentically with new clients or audiences. In this episode, Kelly shares tips for infusing your bio with a little personality--alongside your credentials, of course--as a way to spark productive conversations with the people you want to work with.
July 7, 2020
Maximize Your Potential at Your Own Pace--with Maxie McCoy
Kelly connects with Maxie McCoy for a conversation on how to let go of uncertainty, shed the expectations of others, and stop comparing your career progress to other people's or to where you think you "should" be by now. Instead, as Kelly and Maxie discuss, the key to success is to focus on taking the essential micro-steps that will bring you closer to your goals and use your networks to guide you in reaching your potential. Maxie is the author of You’re Not Lost: An Inspired Action Plan for Finding Your Own Way and is obsessed with giving women the tools they need to believe in themselves. Kelly and Maxie's conversation can also be found on the podcast BOOKS CONNECT US, a cool new podcast from Penguin Random House featuring interviews every week with amazing authors.
June 23, 2020
How To Hack A Summer Internship Experience
The summer internship provides valuable career experience for students. So what do you do if your internship is cancelled, either due to the current coronavirus epidemic or something else entirely? In this episode, Kelly provides a framework for how you can hack together a summer experience fulfilling the three primary career needs an internship offers (a paycheck, real work experience and networking). From how to creatively source job opportunities to ways to look for digital internship experiences, Kelly's ideas will help you fill the gap in your resume. 
June 16, 2020
Intentional Career Development--with Sherrell Dorsey
Kelly interviews Sherrell Dorsey, founder of The Plug on topics ranging from how to network in a new community to why slowing down to listen is a good career strategy when you're starting out. Learn how Sherrell is "fancy frugal" as it relates to her professional development (along with her concept of a personal content stack) and the intentionality she applies to mapping out her own leadership progression. This conversation will transform how you choose to think about your career advancement,  which is critical these days when career paths are often non-linear and networks are more essential than ever.  
June 9, 2020
How to Deal with Rejection
Rejection is painful and, unfortunately, a regular part of our professional lives. If we can't dull the blows, can we at least lessen the sting of being rejected from something? In this episode, Kelly interviews New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly--for whom rejection has been a weekly professional hazard since she started contributing in 1977--on how she stays positive and motivated after getting a "no," and how the rest of us can too.
May 26, 2020
Planning Your Workforce Re-Entry
Re-entering the workforce at any point in your career can be a daunting endeavor, whether you were involuntarily laid off or you chose to go out on your own for a while. In this episode, Kelly interviews Marci Weisler, Chief Commercial Officer at Vengo Labs, about how she approached a job search following many years of consulting and entrepreneurial ventures. Discover why working with a career coach can be helpful, when to ask for help, and of course, how to leverage your personal networks to unlock unique and unexpected job opportunities. 
May 19, 2020
Reinventing Your Career
Factors outside of your control can suddenly topple your career plans. In this episode, Kelly interviews workforce transformation leader Joyce Sullivan, Lee Hecht Harrison's Operations Director (Northeast Region). Joyce not only guides others who are making a career transformation, she's reinvented her professional destiny after being laid off Wall Street during the 2008 financial crisis. Her advice is a must-listen for anyone navigating a career transition, especially one that's unplanned or unexpected.  
May 12, 2020
Positioning Yourself For Job Search Success
Not only are we living longer and choosing to extend our work lives past the traditional age of retirement, but today, many people are also facing an unexpected job search as factors like the COVID-19 crisis have derailed career paths out of the blue. In this episode of the podcast, Kelly offers strategies for how more experienced professionals can tackle their reentry into the job search and the workforce. 
May 5, 2020
What To Post or Share With Others While Your Career Is On Hold
Wondering what updates to share with your network when you’re looking for career opportunities? Or whether it is OK to put a cancelled internship on your resume that was cancelled due to reasons beyond your control (such as the COVID-19 crisis)? This week on the podcast, Kelly provides ideas for dealing with new career quandaries you may be navigating today and suggests a few past episodes to go back and review to help you enhance your connections heading into tomorrow. 
April 28, 2020
When To Do The Work For Free
When should you consider giving away your skills and talents for free and when is it a waste of your time? In this episode, Kelly explores requests to "do the work for free" that can pop-up during a career transition or job search and shares real-life examples from her network of how, with a strategic approach, these can be turned into opportunities to build up expertise, showcase talents, and even land dream job or gig.  
April 21, 2020
Ask Your Network For Feedback
Have you ever sought career advice or feedback from your network on your professional strengths? In this episode of the podcast Kelly shares how her own network has inspired her to pursue new, previously unimaginable career paths. Discover why reflecting on what your connections see in you is a vital component of networking along with why Kelly launched her latest 30-day network-building challenge and how you can too. 
April 14, 2020
Don't Pause Your Networking, But Proceed With Care
This episode focuses on both your self-care and the care of your network. We all react to crises differently, and it can be easy to forget others may not be responding exactly as we would (or as we'd like them to). From explaining why someone may be declining to schedule a video call with you to ideas for keeping your collaborative work culture intact while working remotely, Kelly's answers can help you reduce friction in your networking and communication by considering things from other perspectives.   
April 7, 2020
Create Virtual Water Cooler Moments
What is a virtual water cooler moment? It's leveraging digital tools in imaginative  ways to simulate IRL interactions with coworkers, colleagues, friends, and other people in your network when you can't meet with them in real life. In this episode of the podcast, Kelly shares fun ideas for orchestrating virtual water cooler moments during this period of "social distancing" along with suggestions on how to reach out to others and stay connected in "low tech" ways. With empathy and a bit of creativity, you can turn this period of self-isolation into one of great community building.  
March 31, 2020
Just Checking In
This week on the podcast, it's JCI, or Just Checking In. In these unprecedented times, the best thing we can do to build stronger, long-lasting relationships is to JCI with those around us, as people--and how we make them feel--have always been the foundation of a solid, supportive network. Kelly also offers up three timely tips on how to focus your networking efforts while you working from home and keeping a physical distance from colleagues, customers and friends: Ask how you can be of service; create a recovery timeline; and use technology in a very human way.
March 24, 2020
Rework Your Resume And Other Networking Quick Fixes
In this episode, Kelly provides suggestions to those looking to change jobs or careers on how they can successfully revamp their resumes and show their past or current work experiences are relevant to the new roles they're applying for. Plus, with the help of the Build Your Dream Network podcast team, she provides fast answers to your networking questions. 
March 17, 2020
How To Reach Out On Social Media
With digital tools and social media, you're one click away from connecting with just about anyone. However, if you hit send on a poorly worded message to a new contact, your message is also one click away from delete. Kelly's do's and don'ts for digital outreach in this episode will help you stop losing opportunities to meaningfully connect online and make it far more likely you'll get a response, rather than a delete.  And for more great career advice from Kelly and other experts, check out Boss Notes, a new email series from Penguin Random House providing step-by-step guidance for navigating common career challenges. Visit to sign up and start living your best work life now!
March 10, 2020
Networking Advice for College Students
Kelly is answering listener questions this week on the podcast. In this episode she provides three networking strategies for college grads who are wondering how they should be approaching a job search. And for more great career advice from Kelly and other experts, check out Boss Notes, a new email series from Penguin Random House providing step-by-step guidance for navigating common career challenges. Visit to sign up and start living your best work life now!
March 3, 2020
How Do I Find New Clients To Grow My Business?
Kelly is answering listener questions this week on the podcast. In this episode, she offers suggestions for a small business owner / solopreneur who is looking for fresh ways to find and reach new clients--beyond what she's already doing--in order to grow her coaching practice. And for more great career advice from Kelly and other experts, check out Boss Notes, a new email series from Penguin Random House providing step-by-step guidance for navigating common career challenges. Click here ( to sign up and start living your best work life now!
February 25, 2020
Why You Should Never Ask Someone to "Pick Their Brain"
Here's a networking bad habit to end right now: sending enthusiastic "you two should know each other" emails or "pick your brain" invitations to meet potential contacts over coffee. Neither networking ask is a career compliment, and they definitely aren't the best ways to build a strong connection. Kelly explains why in this episode and offers alternative approaches that are far more likely to succeed. And for more great career advice from Kelly and other experts, check out Boss Notes, a new email series from Penguin Random House providing step-by-step guidance for navigating common career challenges. Click here ( to sign up and start living your best work life now!
February 18, 2020
Show Your Network Some Love
Are you showing your network enough love? Building stronger bonds with your existing connections as well as forging new ones means spending time thinking about who you're reaching out to and what they may need, not just how they can help you. Kelly's tips will help you connect with success, whether you're contacting someone for the first time or hoping to reconnect with a long-lost friend. And for more great career advice from Kelly and other experts, check out Boss Notes, a new email series from Penguin Random House providing step-by-step guidance to navigate common career challenges. Click here ( to sign up and start living your best work life now!
February 11, 2020
Making the Most of Conferences and Networking Events
You've signed up to attend a conference, and, as the day of the event approaches, you find yourself overcome with dread and regret, creating all sorts of excuses not to attend. Sound familiar? It's time to lift your networking game out of the common over-committed calendar rut. Kelly's strategies in this episode will help you maximize the opportunities you should be committing to and say no to the ones you shouldn't. And for more great career advice from Kelly and other experts, check out Boss Notes, a new email series from Penguin Random House providing step-by-step guidance to navigate common career challenges. Click here ( to sign up and start living your best work life now!
February 4, 2020
The Top 5 In-Demand Soft Skills--And How To Flex Them
To be successful in nearly any role (or in any job search), you need to demonstrate to employers your mastery of soft skills. In this episode, Kelly takes a look at the five most in-demand soft skills (creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence) and unpacks what these are and how to show you've got them so you can boost your career advancement.       And for more great career advice, check out Boss Notes, a new email series from Penguin Random House providing step-by-step guidance to navigate common career challenges and start living your best work life now! Click here ( to sign up. 
January 28, 2020
How to Build A New Network--with Jennifer Johnson
Executive recruiter (and a featured interviewee in the Build Your Dream Network book for her savvy network-building insights) Jennifer Johnson joins Kelly on this episode to share her hard-earned wisdom on how to build a career or business network from scratch, and why contributing to professional networks and organizations is essential for career advancement. 
January 21, 2020
Professional Organizations: Are They Worth Joining?
Joining a professional organization or participating in an industry association's events may sound like networking drudgery, but it is actually at the heart of career success. Learn how to stop overlooking these vital resources and discover the many ways being involved in them can help you advance your current career, change jobs, or move into a new field entirely.
January 14, 2020
How to Reciprocate a Networking Favor
When someone in your network makes an introduction for you, traditional etiquette says you should do the same thing for them. But when is reciprocating actually required? For every introduction you receive, do you need to make one for them in return? In this episode, Kelly debunks the myth that this old intro-for-an-intro kind of reciprocation is necessary and offers other thoughtful ways you can return the favor to someone that they will appreciate just as much and may even find more useful.
January 7, 2020
Networking for the New Decade: New Year's Resolutions Revisited
The eve of a new year (and new decade) is a great time to reflect and celebrate career milestones, as it can be so easy to overlook smaller but significant wins when you're laser focused on one big goal. In this episode, Kelly first offers a thoughtful reminder to pause and enjoy all you've accomplished, and then revisits the recent episode, "Use Your Network To Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions," to help you gear up for the exciting new year and decade ahead.
December 31, 2019
Take the 30-Day Networking Challenge!
A new year means new possibilities to build your relationships. But how do you muster the motivation if you're dragging from end-of-year indulgences or feeling strapped after all the holiday festivities? Get creative and take Kelly's 30-Day Networking Challenge! Armed with her fun and easy ideas for connecting with others, you can start off the new year with a bang.
December 24, 2019
Use Your Network To Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions
It's time to kick the habit of making and breaking New Year's resolutions! Whether your goal is saving more, losing weight, or switching careers, you'll find it easier (and much more fun) to achieve if you include your network in the process. Kelly's tips and tricks will help you recruit the support you need to take on those resolutions and triumph at last.
December 17, 2019
Twitter: How to Connect in 280 Characters or Less--with Heidi Moore
If you've ever wondered whether it's possible to have a meaningful conversation around a complex subject with others on Twitter, here's your answer: yes. Digital Media Advisor Heidi Moore routinely breaks down complex financial concepts (such as the inverted yield curve) with her vast following there. As one of TIME Magazine's Top 100 Tweeters and one of the first 100 Twitter accounts to be included on the Bloomberg News terminal, it's no surprise that Heidi's online conversations with her network are engaging, fact-based, and often viral. In this special, in-depth episode, she shares her tips and tricks for connecting and engaging with others on Twitter while avoiding its notorious trolls.
December 10, 2019
Networking at Holiday Parties
The holidays are a wonderful time of year to connect with friends, colleagues and family--and you can network joyfully without ever having to send out holiday cards or host a gathering. Check out Kelly's tips in this episode for making networking fun and festive!
December 3, 2019
Networking Etiquette (with Helen Ellis)
Courtesy appears to have been deleted in the digital age, so I sought the guidance of best-selling author and host of the Southern Lady Code podcast, Helen Ellis to reinterpret rules of etiquette for hyper-digital bad manners. You can listen to Helen's podcast here: You can follow Helen on Twitter at @WhatIDoAllDay and on Instagram at @americanhousewife.
November 26, 2019
Reputation Killers
Failing to follow up and follow through are two of the biggest reputation killers out there. With just a little networking know-how, you can ensure your credibility (along with your  social capital) stays intact.
November 19, 2019
Luck, Chance, and Fortune
Time to stop wishing for a lucky break or chance introduction. It takes some real networking work to unlock good fortune and put your career in front of serendipity.
November 12, 2019
Where is Your Network?
Don't think you have a network? Think again! Your network is bigger than you imagine and larger than your immediate connections.
November 5, 2019
Interships, like majority of jobs, are discovered and filled through networks and personal recommendations. Maximize the potential of these prized oppportunites with a little networking courtesy and know-how.
October 29, 2019
Leveraging Twitter to Enhance Your Connections (with Elena Rossini)
Independent filmmaker Elena Rossini has leveraged the social media platform Twitter for business networking. Now she's moving on to Giphy and Instagram stickers to enhance IRL connections. Her imaginative and perhaps counterintuitive strategies will excite you to rethink your online networking. You can follow Elena on Twitter at @_elena.
October 22, 2019
Using Your Network to Jumpstart Your Career
Vision boards and career plans are great when you know what you want to do with your career. But what if you're at a crossroads? When you're befuddled and seeking career direction, turn to your network for ideas.
October 15, 2019
Networking with Investors
Seeking funding for your startup or business venture? Contrary to popular networking practice, start forging connections with investors well before you need their money.
October 8, 2019
Tackling the Informational Interview
Informational interviews are networking gold when you're pursuing a career change or searching for a new job. Don't flub this golden opportunity by taking a casual networking approach when setting up those meetings.
October 1, 2019
Does Your Network Support Your Ambitions?
Ideas without a network remain just that - ideas. But with a purposefully constructed network, ideas have the chance to expand and grow. Do you have the network your ideas need to flourish?
September 24, 2019
What Does Networking Mean, and What Does It Look Like Today?
Time to shake up your idea of what networking means. If it is not schmoozing at parties and endless coffee dates, then what is networking? Hint: some of your daily routines actually are network building activities.
September 17, 2019
Introducing Build Your Dream Network
Need networking and career advice? Frustrated and confused by how to network successfully? Kelly Hoey is here to help. Look out for Build Your Dream Network, a new podcast coming to you on September 17.
August 26, 2019