Effective Networking in Four Steps

Nancy Anderson
Posted by in Career Advice

It's no secret that career networking is an effective tool during the job search. However, a clear-cut strategy to establish contacts and make a good impression requires a plan. Incorporate techniques to brand yourself and reach out to professionals in your desired industry to get your foot in the door.

Career networking not only helps candidates establish relationships with key individuals in the industry; it also allows you to stay up to date with best practices and the latest industry standards. Ultimately, you may be looking for a recommendation for a job, but learning about how technology is impacting your career field will only enhance your skills and opportunities.

1. Be Approachable

Enhance your career networking circle of contacts by coming off as approachable, recommends Don Goodman with Careerealism. Pay close attention to your body language, facial expressions and posture when interacting with business professionals. Make eye contact, keep your head up and offer a smile when engaging in discussions with new people within the community. A positive attitude not only makes a good impression but may also increase your chances of gaining a recommendation to help with your job search.

2. Reach out to People

Reach out to strangers every chance you get. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself when interacting with professionals at career networking events, at job fairs and within online communities related to your industry. Prepare an elevator pitch or an engaging introduction to start up a conversation with business professionals, and ask open-ended questions to keep the conversation going.

Seek out people you know within your career field to establish new contacts. Ask for an introduction to individuals who work at companies where you want to apply. An established contact who thinks highly of you is more likely to point you in the right direction and help expand your network.

3. Always Be Building Your Network

Even if you are not currently job hunting, continue to build your network. Career networking is not reserved just for those times in your life when you are seeking job opportunities. You never know when an opportunity may arise and a professional within your network can offer a recommendation or a business opportunity. Networking can also help you within your current position and lead you to new clients, especially within the sales industry.

4. Connect With People at Work

Build your network within your current position as well. Make an effort to get to know your co-workers to better understand how the organization or company works as a whole. Fostering relationships within your current position may lead to promotions and mutual respect that can improve your brand and your opportunities on the job.

Build vital connections to develop business relationships that can aid you in your current position and provide future opportunities. Career networking is an essential job duty both while you're currently employed and while seeking employment. Make the best impression by showing off your ability to expand your network and engage with others.


Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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