You hear it all the time, that networking can help you land a job. However, if you’re still stumped as to what networking entails or if you’ve tried and haven’t had much success, it helps to know how to properly network. By following the right tips, you’ll connect with others that could know someone who could help you get a job.
First of all, you should seek networking opportunities. It’s important to know that certain events like job fairs or websites like LinkedIn are great starting places but that almost any time can become a networking opportunity. If your friend introduces you to someone who works in your field, this could be a great chance to find a job. The above events and websites also offer a wealth of chances.
Of course, once you find a networking opportunity, you have to know how to make the best use of it. In order to do, you need to sell yourself. Don’t just give your new contact a sales pitch or read off your résumé. Instead, you want to engage their attention in as little time as possible. Try to get your phrasing down to no more than 30 seconds, including relevant information such as where you last worked, what your responsibilities entailed, and what kind of work you’re looking for now.
You should also always carry business cards with you. If any encounter could become a networking opportunity, you must always be ready. Have these cards stashed away in your wallet or purse so that you can hand them out and never have to miss a great chance to connect with someone who could help you obtain employment.
When talking to a potential networking contact, keep in mind that they’re human too. They likely have somewhere to be and don’t necessarily have to help you. They may tell that they personally can’t help you but know someone who can. Perhaps they can put in a good word for you at their own workplace. Always be respectful and accept whatever help that someone is willing to give you, and remember that if they need help in the future too that you should try to be of assistance.
Lastly, no matter what you get out of networking with someone else, remain respectful at all times. Always thank the person for their time and their assistance. If they happen to be an integral connection that lands you the interview or the job, send them a thank-you note (a physical letter as opposed to an email) thanking them for their great help. By following these tips, you can network more effectively and get closer to finding a job.