Networking is the key to finding the right job for you. Even though it might feel daunting to begin with, it’s much easier than you think.
Before we jump into the tips, let’s take a look at why networking is so important.
Building relationships while job hunting is important for several reasons including:
Networking from behind your computer screen only is an extremely tempting idea (we’ve been there, don’t worry). But asking your friend from your dream company out to lunch instead of simply emailing them is a much better way to enforce connections.
While you’re sat eating your meal, you can discuss personal things and bring up the position you’re after.
The introverts among us find it intensely scary to network. However, to do so effectively, you need to be fearless and try to unleash an extrovert side you didn’t know you had.
Attempt to speak to someone for longer than normal or insert yourself into a chatting group at your next work party. It may also help to prepare answers and questions beforehand for those of you of a nervous disposition.
Building strong, lasting relationships takes a lot of time so you’ll need to practice patience.
To help speed up the process, asking for informational meetings with the company you want to work for is a good way to go. Not to mention the lunches and coffee “dates” you can go on with existing connections.
If you’re new to networking, focusing on selling yourself might be the goal. But being relationship-focused instead will allow you to reap much bigger rewards. Be likable first, show professional worthiness second.
To maximize your efforts, use social media to strengthen relationships and start new ones.
At times, having face-to-face interactions with key company employees isn’t always possible. The internet is a fantastic tool to leverage in these times.
Upon making the first contact, always be sure to follow up. This will show you’re gracious, courteous, and approachable (all invaluable qualities).
If you’re networking a lot but nothing comes of your efforts, it’s time to consider the quality of your network. Evaluate the weaknesses and strengths. Then, you can decide how you should adapt it to fit your future wants, needs, and dreams.
You don’t want to miss opportunities or strengthen connections that are ultimately holding you back!