Employment Networking Tips
“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20
Everything you want in life is a relationship away.” – Idowu Koyenikan
You may have the right skills, the right experience and the right personality for the job you’re searching for, but what good is it going to do you if the right people don’t know about you?
So how do you get found?
You need to network!
Networking is one of the best, yet overlooked, ways of finding your next great job! In fact, in studies of how people actually secure new jobs, over 70% did so through some form of networking. So you know it works!
Networking, whether it’s one on one, in person, by telephone or using email, online, or at an event, can help you build genuine relationships, which lead to opportunities, not just for you, but also for those who you may be able to help.
Most communities sponsor networking events so they are easy to find. But for many people, just the thought of going to a networking event gives them anxiety. Just remember, most everyone at the event, or in the same situation, is feeling just like you. It isn’t easy to go into a room full of people that you don’t know and introduce yourself. But it doesn’t have to be awkward and can be much more productive for everyone if you use these…
Tips for a positive networking experience:
- Preparation is essential…
- Have your elevator speech prepared. Be able to let people know what you do and it’s value in a clear concise way. Don’t make it long and drawn out, make it impactful. Keep it to about 60 seconds long.
- Have a good supply of business cards with you. It’s very unprofessional for you to be writing down your information on a napkin.
- Also have copies of your resume handy in case someone asks for one.
- Be prepared to listen to the people around you.
- Don’t forget the breath mints.
- Talking to other people…
- Remember, you’re there to build relationships, which means listen more than you talk.
- If talking with strangers makes you nervous, look for someone who isn’t already in a discussion and strike up a conversation with them. It’s much easier to introduce yourself to a single individual than break into a group conversation that is already in progress.
- Treat networking conversations like regular conversations. Don’t focus on yourself and what you hope to get out of this event, but leave people with a positive impression of you as a person.
- As a starter, after you learn the person’s name, ask why they decided to attend the event and what they hope to get out of it. That should lead to a give and take as you share the same.
- Don’t forget the follow-up…
- A networking event can help you meet new people, but building relationships is up to you. So be willing to spend some time to stay connected. If you don’t, you might as well have stayed home.
- Immediately after the event, using LinkedIn connection requests will remind people of who you are, that you’re interested in them, and is a great way to build your online network. Then reach out periodically to share career information, interesting articles, thoughts about things they shared with you, or just to check in.
- When you’re messaging them, to make it more personal, ask open-ended questions about something they shared with you. This question will give them a reason to respond to you as well as show them that you were interested in what they were saying.
- Ask them if they would be willing to review your resume. Then give them a copy or arrange to email one to them. Thank them and tell them any feedback they have will be great and you will get back in touch in 7-10 days to get their feedback.
- Ask them for any advice they have about how to conduct a job search. Most people want to give advice and you are giving them permission to do so. Again thank them and tell them you will certainly consider what they advise.
- Ask them for the names of 3 or 4 other people they think would also be willing to review your resume and give some advice. Tell them you believe the more people you are able to reach out to the better your chance of finding suitable opportunities. Jot down the names they give you with contact information and the name of the person who referred them so you can use that when you reach out to this new person.
You should remember, networking isn’t a one-way street…look for ways you can be of service to those in your network…make it a give and take situation.
If you would like to explore working with a Christian centered Career Coach, Contact me for a no-obligation 60-90 minute job search consultation with America’s Job Searching Coach, or text me at 425-220-0707 and we can discuss your situation, your résumé, what you would like to achieve, and structure your job search to fit your uniqueness.
I am also available to speak to groups.