6 Ways to Improve Your Networking SkillsMarch 16th, 2012
You’ve heard it every time you’ve asked for advice on how to find a job. You have to network. The age of social media has made this seem easier than ever, but sometimes the sea of web pages can be just as difficult to navigate as an industry mixer. Both old- and new-school techniques can be applied to the 21st century job search. Here are 6 ways to maximize your networking.
- Tell Everyone That You’re Looking For a Job. Pride is sometimes our own worst enemy. It’s hard to admit to total strangers that you’re out of work. One of the most common questions when you meet someone new is “So, what do you do?” You can answer it honestly but then add “I am currently between opportunities. Do you know anyone looking for someone like me?” This will plant the seed in their mind.
- Use LinkedIn Effectively. LinkedIn is one of the best resources for professional networking currently available. Make sure you use it to best of your ability. Update your job title and reflect that you are seeking a new opportunity in your chosen field. When making a new connection, don’t simply send the pre-typed introduction message. Take a moment to write a couple quick sentences explaining who you are and why you would like to connect with them.
- Prepare Your Elevator Pitch. A common practice in a lot of industries is to develop a short speech to describe your product or service to a new prospect. Consider what you have to offer and make sure you communicate your message effectively.
- Carry Business Cards. When you’re telling everyone you meet that you are looking for a job and you’ve effectively shared your elevator pitch, you need to close the deal. They won’t remember you if you don’t give them the tools with which to do so. Have professional cards made up and include an easy to remember email address such as “firstname.lastname”.
- Join Face To Face Business Networks. Look in your area for groups in your industry that meet regularly and get an invitation. Networking groups are usually very excited to have new members and more participation.
- Start a Blog. If you are looking for a new opportunity, position yourself as an industry leader. Begin a blog that shares your insights on your industry and its best practices. When you meet that stranger and share your elevator pitch, you can include that you write about the topic as well. Make sure you have the web address on your business card as well.
Looking to expand your career search? Contact Gage Personnel to tap into their established network.