How To Network For A Job: 10 Pro Tips You Cannot Miss
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. How many times have you heard this? Of course, what you know and the skills that you have do matter, but who you know could play a vital role in how and where you get a job. With all things being equal, who you know may be the dynamic that gets you through that door.
An established network is essential for your professional career, and you need to learn how to network for a job. Apart from getting a job, you’ll also get to exchange knowledge, ideas, and resources that will not only take your career to the next level but give you lasting friendships as well.
In this post, we’ll share some of the best tips for networking for a job and get so much more out of it.
1. How to Be Great at Networking?
Networking for a job can be anything from meetings in conferences, conference calls, connecting on social media, attending industry events, social outings, at work, or even connecting one-on-one. Any opportunity that you get to interact with people counts as networking.
You need to sit down and plan your efforts. Even in networking, you need to have a goal and an action plan on how you’ll build your connections. You can start by listing down all the people you’ve already met but would like to have stronger relationships with, such as colleagues and other acquaintances.
The next list should include the people you’d like to meet, such as the influencers in your niche or industry leaders. With these lists, you can then create an action plan that involves how you’ll meet these people. Strategize the best way to meet each one of them.
2. Diversify Events
You should attend industry-related summits or conferences so you can meet people that share the same interests. You’ll get the chance to connect and brainstorm on a personal level with most of them.
Beyond this, you can also attend events that you normally wouldn’t consider. Maybe they’re not related to the industry you’d like to work in. However, you’ll gain insights, and you never know who you’ll meet.
3. Be Strategic At Events
One of the most crucial networking tips for a job is how you act at the events. To begin with, the worst place you can plant yourself is at the entrance of the event just to meet people. This is one rookie mistake you must avoid.
You see, when people get to the party, they want to get nourishment and take some time to survey the room. Meeting them at the entrance will serve little purpose because chances are, they won’t pay attention. One of the best places to meet people is at the bar exit or in line, if any.
4. It’s All About the Business Card
You need to be ready with your business cards because the last thing you want to awkwardly search for one just when you meet the right person. Worse, don’t lose someone’s business card by misplacing it as you’ll miss out on your chance to follow up with them.
Have a pocket specifically for your business cards and another for the business cards you receive. Ensure you have unique and captivating business cards. Read more now and have the most memorable ones at the event.
5. Build Genuine and Lasting Relationships
Regardless of where you network, try to foster genuine relationships.
Listen, share interests, and reciprocate.
This will lead to lifelong relationships and even friendships. When you go to events, be the first to extend invitations to lunch, coffee, or drinks after work. This will lay a firm foundation and make it easy for you to find a job.
6. Offer to Help As Well
If you can offer before you ask, even better, if you do, be generous. During your conversation, ask about what they’re into and be genuinely interested in it. If you have knowledge in the project, offer your help, and if you don’t, offer a contact that does.
This way, they’ll also be interested in helping you. It’s okay to ask for help since you need it, and you’d be surprised at the number of people out there who are always willing to help. If you get help, ensure you offer your gratitude.
7. The Buffet Table Is No Place to Meet
When networking for a job, you want to make a great first impression, and the buffet table is the wrong place. You see, you can’t just start talking to people who are carrying plates of food with the intention to eat.
If you must, stand at the bar or the cocktail table. Better yet, sit at the table and eat with them while having some casual chat. Eating together will build rapport a lot faster than talking.
8. Learn How to Spark Conversations
Is it possible to have dazzling conversations at an event full of strangers?
When networking for a job, you need to learn how to spark conversations. A great starter topic will undoubtedly lead to a great, memorable, and meaningful conversation.
Ask them how good their drink is, how they like the artwork, or if they’re having fun. Remember to be bold if you want more in-depth conversations instead of just hovering to pass the time.
9. Introduce Your Networks to Each Other
There are always people at the events who seem to know everyone. These are super connectors, and if they can’t help you, they know people who can. If you are generally a talkative person or an extrovert, you can easily become one of these people and add value to the network. Introduce people whose needs match and have an opportunity to interact and get a job as well.
10. Stay in Touch
Communication frequency and reciprocity strengthen relationships. Building a relationship that you have already is an easy way to expand your network. Reach out, even if you just want to say hello, especially through social media.
How to Network for a Job: There You Have It!
These are some of the best tips you’ll get when it comes to networking to get a job. Now you know how to network for a job. Attending all these events can actually be fun, and you’ll get to meet so many people that you may get so much more than just a job. Remember to wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be standing a lot.
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