Over 60% of job seekers find networking essential to their job search. Not all vacancies will be publically advertised and having a connection in a company can help to alert you of opportunities that may never have been available without your network. Networking is a great way to develop relationships and make you a more attractive prospect to hiring managers, who have been made aware of your expertise as a result of your networking efforts. Here are 7 ways to help you network like a pro!
Be willing to help your network
Networking involves some give and take. People will be more likely to help you with your job search if you’ve helped them in the past or can offer them something in return.
Connect on LinkedIn
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account already then you are missing out on a great networking opportunity. LinkedIn allows you to connect with other professionals and increase your visibility amongst hiring managers. You can also join industry related groups on the platform, allowing you to showcase your knowledge. Join in discussions and connect with industry experts to increase your network.
Be cautious when using Facebook to network
Many individuals will join Facebook to interact on a more personal level with their friends and family, not to make professional connections. Don’t message hiring managers on Facebook unless you are told to! Using Facebook to contact professionals can damage your relationship with an individual and discourage them from connecting with you in the future.
Networking is not just for the present but for the future too. No matter if you like a manager or not, always remain polite and professional. Maintaining a positive reputation with current and past employers can help with your future career progression. Previous employers can be used as professional references and can vouch for you to future employers.
Do your research!
Before approaching anyone it is essential that you do your research! Find out what you can about the individual you want to connect with and the industry they work in. This will help to generate talking points and can help to create a good first impression.
Include your friends and family in your network
Your friends and family will have their own connections. Friends and family members could alert you to upcoming job opportunities, as well as reach out to their own network for you. They can also give great personal references to prospective employers.
Make sure that you keep in contact with your network. Only ever reaching out when you’re in need can harm your relationship with the individual and make them less likely to help you.
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