Networking is practically essential to finding a job these days. It involves meeting and forming relationships with people across a variety of industries and in all parts of your life. The people you know in your social circles may be just as important to helping you find that next big career break as those with whom you deal with on a professional level. Follow these 10 networking tips, and you’ll be well on your way to scoring that job of your dreams.
1. Don’t forget to giveThe most important thing that people sometimes forget when they think about mining their network for job search assistance is that they also need to give. Networking is all about forming real relationships. If you approach your network of contacts just looking to see what they can do for you, you won’t get far. No one likes to be used. Networking is a give-and-take. Always consider how you can be helpful to those in your network, and they will be more apt to return the favor down the line.
2. Stay positiveWhen you’re on the job hunt, things can become a bit overwhelming and frustrating. It’s easy to get discouraged; however, you want to try to always remain positive when interacting with your network. People are more apt to recommend you or share information with someone who is hopeful and upbeat.
3. Take actionSit down and begin doing some research on networking events and other ways in which you can get yourself out there. Make a list of the people in your network who may have leads for you. Spread the word about your job search with purpose.
4. Develop a strategyOnce you have your list of contacts, events and other networking venues compiled, you’ll want to figure out the best way to go about meeting your goals. Reach out to join groups, write networking events on your calendar and practise your elevator speech.
5. Use social mediaNot only can you network in person, but social media can help you to cast a wider net. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be a great start to making contacts.
6. Strengthen relationshipsWhile it’s true you want to put yourself out there and make new contacts in a proactive manner through various avenues, don’t sacrifice quality contacts for quality. Take time to work on strengthening the relationships you currently have, as well.
7. Seek mentorsWhile it can be intimidating to reach out to people who are highly successful or are in a higher role, finding a mentor can be personally rewarding and beneficial to your career.
8. Be boldWhen you make strong contacts, don’t hesitate to be specific when making a request. They can’t read your mind. Ask for a particular introduction or letter of recommendation.
9. VolunteerWhile you may be a busy person, finding time to volunteer in your community can lead to some quality contacts, as well as some great experiences.
10. Give thanks
Don’t forget to be thankful as people help you along the way. Send an email or simply pick up the phone to let your contact know you appreciate them. These networking tips should get you started on your way to making some great contacts. Building relationships is crucial to a successful job search.