Networking With Influential People

John Krautzel
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A key element of the job search is marketing your skills. Professional networking can put you in touch with the right people and job leads that could ultimately land you the position of your dreams. Learn how to meet influential people to enhance your opportunities.

Attend Industry Events

Although attending a professional networking event may seem intimidating for introverts, your presence could ultimately help gain you job opportunities. Attend workshops and panel discussions in your area that pertain to your area of expertise, and spark conversations with participants to discuss common interests. These discussions serve as the pathway to alerting professionals that you are in the job market and actively seeking a position in the field. Take advantage of face-to-face encounters with industry experts by dressing the part and preparing a 30-second elevator pitch that accurately relays your experience and skills.

Volunteer in the Community

Volunteering provides you with a sense of fulfillment when helping others, but your participation can also connect you with job opportunities. Use your extracurricular activities as a means to engage in professional networking. For example, if you are an accountant, offer tax return filing assistance a local community college or community center to meet individuals who may possess job leads for you. If you are searching for a career in the arts, lend a hand at a community play production to immerse yourself in the field. The people you meet while giving back may help guide you in the right direction toward potential openings in your industry.

Launch a Project

Entrepreneurs can benefit from launching industry-related projects during a job search. Perhaps you are interested in creating an e-commerce business or a website for a nonprofit organization. Use professional networking opportunities to find people qualified and willing to help further your efforts. Ask friends and family members if they know of an expert who has knowledge of how to execute your project. As a result, you may connect with just the right person who can inform you of job openings.

Establish a Professional Brand

Increase your job leads and establish a professional brand by networking online. Make sure your social media profiles and LinkedIn page reflect your area of expertise. Create a blog or website that displays your accomplishments, sample work and skills. Take your efforts one step further by interacting with like-minded professionals in your field online via Twitter or Facebook. When you actively engage with people in your industry, your chances of acquiring a position increases drastically.

The task of professional networking does not have to leave you standing in a corner feeling awkward at an industry event. Instead, find creative ways to connect with people in your field by volunteering, establishing a brand and launching projects that put your skill set on display.


Photo Courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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