Many people emphasize the importance of networking when searching for a job. But why is networking so important? Networking can be described as developing a broad list of contacts. These could be people you may have met through various social or even business functions. Using these people to your advantage when you are looking for a job opportunity is what networking is all about.
The best way to develop your network is through conventional or face-to-face networking. The more people you know and the more they know about you, what you do, and what you stand for, is what you’re aiming for. You can start networking by reaching out to your current work group by joining in teambuilding exercises. The more you get yourself involved, the easier the whole networking process will be afterwards. This blog post will show you what to do next to network your way to a new job.
- Join Business Networking Groups
Find out what are your niche’s business network associations, forums and trade groups. Most professional associations offer expert services and run regular events that you can always attend. These events are normally free of charge, and you should attend them to meet other professionals outside your organization.
These opportunities are also fantastic avenues for meeting key influencers within your field. Other places you can network is in your alumni groups. Keeping in touch with friends from university, school and college can open doors to potential opportunities.
- Look to Network as an Investment
Undoubtedly, the more effort into your network, the more great results and returns will follow. When you open yourself up to professional exchanges, you can find openings for your career advancement. The truth is that you don’t need to rely on your resume alone to get interviews because employers are always looking for someone they can trust. This is where networking as an investment comes in. You have to fight your fear, jump in to opening up communication channels and see the networking process for what it is. An investment for you to secure a great career opportunity.
- Get Face-To-Face
Although it could be tempting for you to network from behind the safety of your computer screen, this might not yield the best results. You need take the interaction to the next level. Start by emailing the friend who works at the company you want to work in. Ask them for a meet-up or even spend some money and buy them lunch.
Besides meeting in person, you can also search for events where you can make new connections. Attending conventions or social business fairs outside your current company exposes you to new groups, ideas, and a wider job market. During the events, you should make it very clear that you are searching for a new job and speak openly about it. As they say “right place, right time” – you never know you who the right person with the right connections is during these events.
- Offer Help
Listen to your networking friends and look for an opportunity to help them in some way, irrespective of whether it guarantees you a position in their company. They may remember your assistance and recommend you for a job in the future.
Without a doubt, this will improve your relationships with your contacts and could increase your chances of finding work too. Networking is all about turning outward. Volunteering to help your network can show your motivation, dedication and ability. When you are helping, do not forget to display your skills because this may prove crucial when recommending you.
- Be Patient and Make Time
Being able to cultivate a strong relationship might take some time. In networking this is also true because it is not always easy to find the right position. You have to be very patient when making connections and meeting up with your network. Take your time to build new relationships and familiarise yourself with your potential employers and their companies’ ethos.
- Focus on the Relationship and Not Your Resume
It can be tempting to focus on selling yourself and sharing your resume when you are networking. Nonetheless, it is essential to note that focusing on the relationship for that one reason can turn people off. You must present yourself as an amiable person before presenting your professional worth.
- Fight Your Fear
Networking can certainly be challenging for introverted people. If you are an introvert, you may want to acclimatise yourself to start being more outgoing before you start networking. Encourage yourself to do more than usual, especially when speaking to people and interacting with people. Prepare easy-going questions that can spark conversations and get used to listening and exchanging information and ideas. Sometimes, you might avoid to network simply because of the fear of rejection. The best way to overcome this is by being proud of your efforts irrespective of the outcome and reassure yourself with the truth – that you will have more opportunities to make more connections in future!
- Take Advantage of Your Social Networks and Online Resources
Once you have achieved the face-to-face interactions, you may want to maximise your reach through social networks and various other online resources.
There are moments where meeting with employees from your target company may not be possible due to location. Using the Internet to bridge the distance gap will be helpful in these cases. You can always network with your friends online and let them know that you are looking for a new job. The various social media platforms can help you achieve this objective – because most of your contacts are already available on social media platforms, ready to connect.
- Consider a Follow-Up
If you follow up with new connections after making initial contact, it will show that your networking interactions were genuine and emphasise your keenness. This can involve simply thanking them for meeting you or asking questions that may be relevant to your conversation. As you continue interacting, you will be strengthening your relationship, which can only be a good thing. A show of gratitude is something that most people look for in relationships. And this alone, can help you get a new job.
Final Take Away
Networking can enable you to take advantage of personal and business connections and not only rely on your resume. The connections are not only essential for you but also for employers who are looking forward to hiring new employees, specifically for someone they can trust. This is why networking has become an important factor in finding a new job. So be courageous, go out there, find your next employer, and land that dream job!
For more information on networking, or for any advice on careers and securing jobs, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.