Networking has always been important when it comes to building your career. Today’s constantly interconnected world is no exception. Networking – both in person and online – enables you to build relationships with people from diverse backgrounds and industries, expand your knowledge, and often, get the inside track on new job opportunities before they are publicly advertised.
Build real relationships.
The internet is a wonderful thing, but building true, lasting relationships means more than just connecting with someone on LinkedIn or Facebook. Social platforms can be a great place to start, but it’s essential to develop your networking relationships via personal contact, as well.
- Successful networking is a two-way street. Before you reach out to a contact asking for help, it’s important to offer something first. Be someone who is perceived to add value and as a useful connection yourself.
- Stay in touch. Reach out beyond social media and set up coffee dates, meet for a drink, or arrange an informational interview. Forge a face-to-face relationship and. In doing so, keep that two-way street in mind. How can you help your contact, and vice versa? Strive to give more than you take. It will pay off in the long run.
Sharpen your communication skills.
When you network, people are generally willing and happy to help, but they can’t unless you effectively communicate your needs.
- Become an expert at active listening. In addition, work to improve your writing and speaking skills, and know how to tailor your communication to your specific audience.
- Perfect your elevator speech. This is a 30 to 60-second description of yourself, your strengths, and your career goals. It can be extremely helpful when you don’t have a lot of time to spend with someone. Make sure your pitch exudes passion and personality, with the right balance of friendliness and professionalism.
Put yourself out there.
Attend industry events and conferences. Join committees and participate. On line, do the same with relevant groups.
- One helpful tactic is to talk to panel moderators: they know everyone at an event who might be worth meeting. After they direct you to the right person, you can approach them and mention that the moderator recommended talking to them.
- Follow the same approach with other new people you meet. Ask questions and use every encounter as an opportunity to learn. People will start to gain interest to you, and your network will naturally grow as a result.
Networking is a critical aspect of your successful job search strategy. Partner with PrideStaff Fresno to work with an experienced career coach who will walk you through it all – from meeting the right people and perfecting your resume to landing and preparing for interviews, negotiating salary and benefits, and smoothly transitioning into your new role. Contact us today to learn more.