Try these Tips to Boost Your Networking Skills

Get Hired Fast - networking skillsIf you’re looking for a job, you’ve undoubtedly heard how important networking skills are. Who you know, and how you network with them, is a key to landing a new job today.

The reason? It’s simple math. Every time a company posts a job listing online or in print, it receives hundreds of applications, many from qualified and talented individuals. The odds that you’ll stand out in this crowd are small, no matter how right you might be a particular job.

But when you network? You could gain an edge. A former boss might set up a personal meeting between you and the hiring manager at a company in your field. A past co-worker might write you a personal letter of recommendation. A former college professor might know of a friend who is looking for professionals to staff her new business.

In other words, brushing up on your networking skills is every bit as important as any resume tips you might pick up.

Here are some suggestions from a recent column by career adviser Paul Bernard that ran in the Huffington Post.

Know What You Want

When you schedule a networking meeting or phone call, you need to know exactly what you want to gain from this conversation. Are you looking for a job lead? Maybe you’re seeking general career advice, or maybe you’re hunting for a referral or a recommendation letter.

If you know what you want, you’ll be prepared to ask for it. If you go into a networking meeting hoping to see what develops, you might leave with little more than a charge for lunch on your credit-card bill.

It’s a Two-Way Street

Remember, too, that networking is a two-way street. Yes, you are seeking help from your business contacts, but make sure to offer them something, too. It could be something simple, like a free lunch at a nice restaurant. Or maybe you can provide your networking sources with career advice, information on industry trends, or a referral of your own.

Record-Keeping Matters

Bernard writes that it’s important to keep good records of your networking meetings, what was discussed, and what the end result was.

The reason? It takes a lot of networking meetings for job seekers to find a job today. It can be easy to confuse the promises made by different networking sources if you don’t first write them down. Bernard recommends keeping an electronic record of everyone with whom you speak while networking.

If you need job search training, advice on how to run a social media job search, or information on how to boost your social media job search, sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp. We can provide you with the tips and strategies you need to navigate today’s tough hiring market.

, , , , , , , ,