For many professionals networking is the key to landing that top job in record time, and this is especially true in the uber competitive legal sector.

What makes you stand out from the crowd – it could be tirelessly working long hours or doing a top-notch job day after day, or maybe your ability to charm and entertain potential clients, as these factors all have the potential to play a part in how quickly and how far you progress.

However success, whether at interview stage or when the opportunity for promotion arises, can often come down to likeability and decision makers are often more inclined to favour those who have taken the time to socialise and show an interest in them.

If you’re serious about moving up the ladder then networking needs to be something you think about as being part of your job rather than an optional activity you dip into now and then. Demonstrating a commitment to networking on your CV will also help you through the application process if you’re looking for a new position.

There are plenty of organisations that facilitate networking for legal professionals, such the Law Society, as well as many regional groups, like Birmingham Forward in the West Midlands and Trainee Solicitors Groups, which operate in most major cities. Organised corporate lunches, speed networking, legal sector awards ceremonies and even Thursday night drinks with colleagues are all great ways of expanding your contacts and getting to know who’s who in your profession.