Networking Tips to Help You Get a New Job

Networking Tips to Help You Get a New Job

Networking isn't something that comes easy, but it is something that could change your life. With networking, you can form connections that give you a boost in the job search and in the application process. Follow these tips and improve your networking skills.

1. Don't Stay Behind a Computer Screen

While there is value to networking over the internet, there's no substitute for networking in-person. In addition to relying on social media and websites to meet colleagues, get social. Head out to events and meet-ups tailored to those in your industry.

If you're trying to move into a new industry, find someone who is willing to take you to an event in that field. They may be able to introduce you to other people and expand your network. You can also reach out to friends and family to do some informal networking. By attending gatherings and parties, you can make connections. It's all about being in the right place at the right time. If you don't get out, you'll never get that opportunity.

2. Be Willing to Help

You only get as much as you give. If you aren't willing to offer help to your contacts, they won't be willing to help you. Improve your personal relationships by being eager to help and volunteering your time and skills.

In the future, your eagerness to help out could help you get a new position. Someone might remember your generosity and recommend you for a job or speak highly of you to an employer.

3. Don't Be Afraid

Shy people often struggle with networking. They feel nervous about approaching someone, whether it be online or in-person. However, it's important to overcome your introverted nature to be successful at networking. There are a few ways you can move past your anxiety.

For instance, prepare yourself for discussions ahead of time. You don't need a script, but you can think of questions to ask and practice what you plan to say. Doing so will build your confidence and make you more likely to connect with someone.

You can also overcome your shyness by reminding yourself to be proud. Even if someone rejects you, there's no harm done. Be proud of every step you make towards creating connections.

4. Make Time for Networking

One of the best networking tips is to make time for creating and improving relationships. If you don't set out time in your schedule to network, you'll never get around to it.

Think about how much time you have to spend on your endeavors. By carving out time for networking and marking it on your schedule, you can make sure you don't forget to connect with others in your field.

You don't need to work on networking every day or even every week. Instead, find a schedule that works for you. As long as you put a little time into networking, your efforts will get results.

5. Don't Push Your Resume

When you meet someone who can help you better your career, you might be tempted to sell yourself. But pushing your resume is likely to do more harm than good. Instead of forcing your resume on a connection, focus on your relationship.

There are subtle ways of highlighting your skills. For example, practice your active listening skills. Show them that you're trustworthy, reliable, and friendly. As the old adage goes, "Actions are louder than words."

Over time, you'll be able to prove your worth as an employee. Equally important, you won't come across as pushy or self-serving.

6. Be Internet Savvy

For maximum reach, take your networking online. Social networks and other online resources are invaluable networking tools. You can turn to the internet to make new relationships.

In some cases, you might rely on the internet to come in contact with someone who lives far from you. A face-to-face meeting may be impossible, but you can still have an online relationship. At other times, you can use the internet to initiate contact with someone. After you make the first connection, you have the chance to move on to an in-person interaction.

If you're not already familiar with the popular social media platforms, it's time to get acquainted. Even if you have existing profiles, you might want to make new profiles that are exclusively professional. You don't want a colleague or prospective employer to know too much about your personal life.

Be proactive in your search for connections by messaging people who can help you with the job search. Follow pages and accounts that share information relevant to your search. They might give you advice on obtaining a new job or post job listings. If you can find a few reliable job forums or discussion boards, join in on the conversations.

7. Follow Up with Connections

After you try to make a connection, you need to keep the relationship going. And that means following up with the individual. The way you follow up depends on the way you met and how you ended the last interaction. At times, a simple thank you e-mail or text will suffice. Other situations warrant a small reminder that you're interested in a job opening.

When you follow up, be sure to show your gratitude. A little appreciation goes a long way.

How Your Networking Will Help You

The first step is making your connections, but the next step is using those connections to get a job. Once you establish a strong network, you improve your chances of finding a new job. Thanks to your contacts, you might be one of the first people to hear about a job opening.

You also have more people to vouch for you. Why would an employer hire someone they know nothing about when they have an applicant who comes highly recommended?

Networking takes time and energy, but it pays off. Whether or not you're currently looking for a new job, work on expanding your network. In the future, that network will pay off.

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