Networking is a skill we all need to master. Whether you are employed and looking to advance your career or trying to get back into the workforce, networking is key to career success. A strategy combining face-to-face and online networking has been cited as the most effective way to find a new job. In this competitive job market, you need to differentiate yourself from your competition to be noticed by hiring managers.
Networking can also help you navigate the “hidden” job market. Many companies are not advertising their open positions externally because they do not want to be flooded with thousands of resumes. Instead, they post the jobs internally and ask for employee referrals, or they conduct their own search for candidates on LinkedIn.
The goal of networking is to build relationships and gain exposure. To set yourself up to succeed, go into the event with the intention of getting to know a few interesting people. If your goal is to come out with a definite job lead, you may come on too strong, and will probably be disappointed with the results.
Here are a few tips to make your networking efforts more productive: Continue reading
Jobseekers should consider every interaction a potential networking opportunity — because you never know who may have, or know of, the perfect job for you. Are you able to articulate the unique value you offer an employer, at a moment’s notice? Most people aren’t. With a little planning and practice, you can always be ready to sell yourself effectively to advance your career.
You should have different versions of your introduction. What you say to someone at a networking event should probably be different from what you say to a neighbor when out walking or a chance encounter at the grocery store. Each starts with a Compelling Conversation Opener — a brief statement that piques the interest of the listen and prompts them to ask for more information.
Rather than a description of what you have done in the past, your introduction should be a forward facing statement of the value you offer an employer. One of the most effective opening lines includes why you love to do what you do. Then, explain what you do, who you help, and how you do it. Do not start off with “Well, I used to…”. Your likability factor is as important as your skill set. People enjoy being around happy people. Smile, and keep it upbeat and positive. Let them know that you are good at what you do, and you enjoy it. Searching for a job is difficult and it can be very hard to stay positive. But, the effort is worth it. Your positive energy will pay off.
Trish Thomas founded The Resume Resource in 2009 to help people develop the tools, strategies and confidence to build satisfying careers. As a Career Coach and Resume Writer, she helps her clients articulate their unique value to stand out from the competition, and guides them through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more successful. www.the-resume-resource.com