Connections Matter: Make the right links

Developing the ability to think strategically and learning how to connect with others around you are two of the main skills you will need in order to successfully network for a job opportunity. It is almost guaranteed that if you spend the time and effort to build relations between you and your colleagues it will be worth both parties time and you will be on your way to efficiently networking.

Follow these tips the next time you want to network for a job:

  1. Meet in person

Communicating via a computer might give you a sense of security when networking, however, what it can’t give you is the human connection that you get from personal interaction through networking in person.Inviting a friend out for lunch is a more effective way to get information about a job that you are interested in versus you simply sending them an email. Whenever you meet face-to-face, take the opportunity to not only discuss business but also use it as a chance to develop your personal relationship with that person.

Going out to different social gatherings such as charity events can be seen as a great way to meet new people and connections. Job fairs and conventions are also some of the events you should attend if you are searching for a new job. This will also give you the chance to meet new people who may also share the same interest as you.

Choose someone from your current network to accompany you to an event. Try to meet and mingle with as many new people as you can and exchange business cards. This will improve your alternatives if you decide you want to transition from your current field.

Interactions with friends and family can also be done in a more informal setting. Attending family gatherings or a friends party is a great way to interact with them and take advantage of the opportunity to let them know you are seeking employment. You would be surprised to know one of the persons there might be the right connection to help you land the job.

  1. Lend a helping hand

Offering help and assistance to people in your contacts is a great way you can improve the relationship you have with them as well as improving your chances of finding a job. Lending a helping hand to your connections not only shows your character but also gives you a chance to put some of your skills on display.

Helping out a contact won’t guarantee that you will get a job at their organisation. They will remember your efforts to assist them and either recommend you for a job at their organisation or they’ll recommend a friend to give you an opportunity.

  1. Be courageous 

Networking effectively will require you to be outgoing and that may be difficult for an introverted person, however you need to accept the challenge and overcome it. Interacting with more people at a workplace event or simply talking a little longer with someone than you normally do are just two ways you can motivate yourself to do a little more than the normal. Coming up with questions and discussing certain topics beforehand will assist you in preparing if you feel anxiety about interacting with people. Don’t let the fear of rejection ditter you from networking. Regardless of the outcome, be proud of your effort and be confident that many more opportunities will come for you to meet the right connections to land a great job.

  1. Things take time. Be patient

Be patient when you meet and make new connections. It takes time to build a strong relationship, so give it some time as you network to find the right job.

Reaching out to a company of interest and asking for a meeting to find out about the company can be of benefit. Don’t take the obvious route and ask for a job, instead ask about the company and find out who is the hiring manager. This will give you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with a potential employer and create new relationships.

  1. Prioritize relationships not resume

Focusing on the relationship with a person may have a stronger impact on you getting a job than just giving out your resume and trying to sell your previous experience. There is nothing wrong with showing your worth as a professional but first show your worth  has a likeable individual.

  1. Go Online

In person interacting knows no bounds, however if you want to broaden your reach use social media and other platforms to add variety to your networking. These will help you search for new connections and enable you to make the ones you already have stronger. Online connections are a great way to make first contact particularly if you aren’t able to meet face to face with an organisation you are interested in working for.

Get in contact with those followers and friends to seek job assistance as well as post on your social media platform you are seeking a job.

  1. Stay in touch

Making initial contact is okay, but if you are to make your networking interaction worthwhile it is essential that you follow up and stay in touch with them. You can start by simply sending them a message letting them know you appreciate the interaction or by bringing up a question or new information you found based on previous conversations. Being in constant dialogue will only make the relationship stronger and they will keep you in mind whenever they know or hear of an opening at a job. 

If someone recommends a contact to you and tells you to reach out to that individual keep that friend in the know with the discussion. This is a sign of appreciation which only makes the relationship stronger.

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