Effective Networking Tips for Job Seekers
Networking is really about connecting with people — and like everything else, being consistent and sincere helps a great deal. So, calm down the job search nerve in your mind a little and focus on making new connections and strengthening existing ones. Then, be sure to let those contacts know what you’re up to professionally and where you are looking to go next in your career. That’s networking!
Networking is all about making authentic contacts and building long term relationships with other people who can either help you directly or connect you with others who can.
Here are some networking tips to consider in your job search:
1. Gather a List of Referrals/Contacts
The first step to networking is to identify people who you want to connect with. Start looking for people you know including friends, family, ex-workers, neighbors, etc. You can also grow your list using LinkedIn and connect with people that share the same skill set as yours.
2. Optimize your LinkedIn Profile
What is the first thing you do after you meet someone new? You check them out on LinkedIn to stay connected with them! That’s what your new contact will do after the networking event too. Make sure your headline and summary reflect your career aspirations instead of your current role.
3. Attend Networking Events
Networking in person works, too. If you belong to a professional association, attend a meeting or a mixer. Networking is a 2 way street. Someone helps you out today and you help them out later. It’s easier to ask for help when you know the relationship is about give and take. Tapping the hidden job market through networking may take more planning and nerve than searching online, but it’s much more effective.
4. Use Your Resume as a Tool for Advice
Another easy yet highly effective way to network during a job search is to ask others who you have established a relationship with to review your resume and give you feedback on how to improve it. When reviewing your resume they will discover your work history, your previous titles, your objectives and many things they may not yet know about you. They may remember a company or a connection that your background may be perfectly suited to.
5. Be Consistent
Sometimes it isn’t about how you network, it’s simply about doing it regularly. Be willing to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there to connect with others, formally and informally, on a regular basis. The above points will surely help you with striking a connect. Although, these aren’t just enough to hold the connect and keep it going. In order to do that, you need to keep showing-up, keep revisiting, keep coming back to your network again and again. This will bring credibility and consistency which inevitably leads to long lasting impact on people’s minds.