Career Networking Basics: Don’t Despise the Small Stuff
Whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’ve been around the block for awhile, career networking basics are essential.
Because job competition is fierce.
You need to differentiate yourself.
And because 85 percent of jobs are won due to networking.
Let’s stop right there.
If you’re looking for a job right now or hoping to advance some day, then you should incorporate these timeless, effective career networking basics.
Let’s get started.
Quality, not quantity
Breathe a sigh of relief.
You won’t have to network with thousands of people (this isn’t a second job) to get noticed.
A few quality connections mean much more than a ton of low-quality ones.
So focus on meeting and networking with a few people who you develop mutual respect for, are well connected, know you, your story and your skills and can introduce you to the right people.
These connections will count for a lot! The deeper the connection the greater the result!
Show – don’t tell
A lot of candidates get jobs through back-door hiring, often bypassing the assessment tests, and application screens offered by HR personnel.
That’s because internal candidates already have a proven track record of skills and performance.
If you’re not an internal candidate, you can add to your networking efforts by offering a tangible example that demonstrates you have what it takes.
If you have the opportunity, show your connections that you can perform a task, share a competitive analysis, a communications plan, or software code that you have written for example. This will go a long way toward making an impression and giving connections a reason to spread the word about you.
We’re not talking physical looks here.
Focus on being the type of person that other people want to get to know, and you’ll instantly widen your networking circle.
For example, someone who volunteers at a local charity, someone who is learning a new skill and creating online forums to teach others, someone who sits on a professional or non-profit board, someone who speaks multiple languages.
Your past networking tactics may have included talking about yourself as much as possible.
Stop doing that. Now.
Instead, put your focus on others. Be someone who gives first, not takes
Think about how this will set you apart from the throngs of networkers just trying to get their elevator pitch in there.
By being interested in what other people are doing and how you can help them, you’ll hear needs/problems/wants, and then you can tailor your responses to that information.
You’ll showcase yourself as the perfect fit in the company or solution to their problems.
This one’s simple.
Follow the same advice as above, but with business cards.
Don’t just hand yours out to everyone you meet.
Make gathering other people’s cards your number one priority and you’ll be able to reach out and connect again. But make sure you follow up.
Join community clubs, business clubs, professional associations you name it.
By all means, get involved.
But don’t over do it. Be selective.
Determine which clubs offer the most relevant networking contacts and experiences to help you advance your career.
By joining clubs that you’re interested in, you’ll be naturally passionate in conversations and make connections that will grow into valuable relationships
Career networking basics
Keep it simple when it comes to networking.
Career networking basics work.
Put these steps to action, and you’ll grow a valuable network of connections that can help you get to the next level.