Have the right materials on handWhenever you leave your house, carry business cards that give a very brief overview of your credentials and offer your contact information. You want to be selective about who you give this information to, but it is always a good idea to have these kinds of cards on hand when you are trying to establish a career network.
Be in the right placeLearning how to network is one thing, but understanding where to develop those contacts is another entirely. Your job hunt is one of the most important full-time jobs you will ever engage in, so it is important to treat it with the respect it deserves. That means being in places like job fairs, social functions, corporate gatherings and other places where you are almost assured to run into contacts that can enhance your network. As long as you work to put yourself in the right places, then you will find the people who can help you to expand your network.
Offer some kind of valueWhile your professional skills are interesting to many of the people you meet, they are sometimes not enough to convince people to be part of your career network. When you talk to people, discuss how you have used your professional network to help your contacts find new customers, service providers they need and connections for business purposes. When you offer value through your career network, then it becomes more tempting for people to join it.
Always be positiveEveryone has disagreements and differences of opinion, but that does not mean that their overall demeanor cannot be positive. Whenever you head out to expand your career network, do so with a positive disposition and a smile on your face. If you simply do not feel like being positive, then perhaps that is not the best day for you to look for new people to expand your network.
Have an elevator pitch readyIf you work hard enough to expand your career network, then you will inevitably have people asking you about your skill set and what you could offer a company. An elevator pitch is a two-sentence introduction that business people use to introduce their companies to new contacts. In order to network effectively, you need an elevator speech to use whenever you make a new contact who is interested in hearing about what you do.
These successful networking tips will help you cultivate the network you need to land the job of your dreams, no matter where you are in your career. You never know when you’ll run into someone who can help you achieve your career goals, so be ready to market your skills and expertise at any time.