How can networking help me in my job search?
In the business world, who you know is almost as important as what you know. Therefore, networking is an absolute necessity when searching for a new opportunity. It can help you get leads on open positions, gather information about a company, and make the right connection with a hiring manager or recruiter.
Here are some best practices to help you make the right connections:
- Attend networking events: These sessions allow people with diverse business backgrounds to come together and share what, and who, they know. They can be the perfect place to land a solid lead.
- Prepare your elevator pitch: To avoid stumbling when you make your introduction, prepare a short statement about yourself that can get you involved in a conversation. Be sure to practice it so it sounds natural when you go to make your delivery.
- Introduce yourself: Many people are hesitant to network and it takes confidence. So, think positive and get yourself geared up to take the lead and initiate a business conversation.
- Ask open-ended questions: If you're having a networking conversation, ask questions that open up the discussion and let the person you're speaking with get to know you.
- Follow through with referrals: If you're given a referral then follow through quickly so the conversation is fresh in the mind of the person who gave you the lead.
- Make yourself a resource for others: Networking is a two-way street. If you find an opportunity for a colleague or friend, pass it along.
- Prepare for rejection: Not every attempt to network will result in a lead, but they are all good opportunities for the next networking moment, so don't get yourself down and keep trying.