Studies show that networking is a crucial part of the executive job-seeking process. While positions can be obtained by submitting a resume and cover letter, it’s much more common for friends and associates to help executive candidates get in the door.
If you haven’t been taking networking seriously, it’s time to take the steps necessary to improve your chances of being hired. Here are six ways that you can immediately right your executive networking wrongs.
1. Start Attending Networking Events
If you haven’t been getting out and attending networking events, you’re really missing out on some amazing opportunities to make great connections with people in your field. You could even benefit from meeting people who aren’t in your field but who are well connected in your city and beyond. You don’t want to pass up any opportunity that presents itself, which is why networking events are a must.
2. Join Clubs and Organizations
In addition to having passing encounters with other executives and influential people, it’s important to get involved with local organizations and/or clubs within your field that not only better the community or your industry but offer opportunities to regularly interact with associates who can help you find great employment opportunities.
3. Talk to Strangers at Social Functions
If you’re at a social function—it could be a family reunion or happy hour—don’t be afraid to talk to strangers about who you are and what your hopes are as an executive in transition. You never know; the next casual conversation could result in your next dream job.
4. Increase Your Presence Online
With much of the job seeking world moving online, it’s important that you increase your presence. Executive recruiters spend a lot of time seeking candidates online, so this is where you need to be if you’re going to be found. By setting up a Google profile, professional Twitter account or Facebook page, and even a website in your name where you can blog about industry topics, you’ll increase your chances of being seen.
5. Get a LinkedIn Account
While you’re online, don’t forget to sign up for a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional social networking site, is one of the most overlooked networking options for executives. By creating a profile, adding your resume, and connecting with associates, you’ve already taken steps to improve your networking opportunities.
6. Take Part in Trade/Industry Discussions
Another step in the process is branding yourself as a leading voice in your field. In addition to starting a blog, you could request to add byline guest posts to other popular blogs and sites to offer your professional insight. Also, look into writing columns for newspapers and magazines.
The more effort you put into networking, the more likely you will be to run into new employment opportunities. So if you’ve been a bit lazy on the networking front, now’s the time to right your wrongs.