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More than anything in the job hunt, networking is one of the most powerful and crucial steps in order to get hired. Nothing can replace good old face to face time. When you know people that have good connections that can land you a job, this immediately gives you the upper hand on other job seekers,who might not be giving the job hunt their all. We all have heard the phrase “Its not what you know but who you know”, this holds much truth. Don’t mess up a great opportunity by making any of these frequent mistakes.
“Networking is not the time to tell your life story or to make a sales presentation, you want to have a genuine conversation with a person, exchange information and move on to the next”
Neglecting the power of face-to-face
Most people now-a-days want to do everything online without having to meet a person in the flesh, except for the actual interview. People are misusing the Internet by relying too much on its networks and forgetting there is less room for rejection when meeting with someone in person (ex. no unanswered e-mails or no returned calls). There is no replacement for getting out there and establishing yourself with people who might know someone who is hiring. Go to at least two or three gatherings a month and bring business cards and introduce yourself to random people. Even if you are a shy person, don’t let that stop you from talking to people and seeking if you can find something in common with them, they might even know someone or company that is hiring.
Losing Touch With Contacts
Do not forget that you put time into getting to know and gathering these contacts for a beneficial reason. Many people forget to follow-up with their new connections and pretty much waste all that effort put into getting the connection in the first place. Don’t be one of them. Try to make the effort at least once a month to follow up with those connections. It doesn’t need to be a long drawn out conversation, it can be a quick call or email or even a short chat over social media. But just make sure you don’t loose contact with those beneficial connections.
“Make sure you look the part“
When attending a networking event be
sure that you have your plan of action for what you are looking for. Nothing is worse than talking with someone that has really good connections in a field that you want to be in and being unprepared for that successful interaction (ex. not having a business card or not knowing info about a genre of work you are interested in). Do your research, know who or what types of people are going to be at that event, know what events are coming up, keep track of changes or trends in the industry. While having the conversation you want to know what you are talking about.
Talking About Yourself To Much
While you are networking it is important to talk about yourself; Your accomplishments, your dreams, your career, your likes/dislikes, etc. But if you talk about yourself too much you will only come off as cocky and conceited. You also want to display that you are interested in the other persons career, ambitions, dreams, etc. Try to find a common ground with them and then expand from there. People want to help others that they like, try to be likeable, NOT FAKE, likeable.
Not Talking About Yourself Enough
You want to make sure in these interactions that you are relaying the message of what you are trying to get accomplished. If you do not tell the person enough about yourself (your ambitions, dreams, goals, etc.), how will they know or not if/how they can help you. Make sure you give them enough information to work with.
“People want to help others that they like, try to be likeable, NOT FAKE, likeable”
Whether it’s a networking event you are attending or simply meeting a contact for lunch – or even a Skype chat – dressing professionally is something you should always keep in mind. Also make sure you have a professional online presence. A LinkedIn account is the best way to go about that, as well as directing people to that account instead of a Facebook account, which would have I’m sure some unprofessional things or photos on there about you.
Not Having Patience And Expecting A Job
You shouldn’t be afraid to work hard on building professional relationships. One of the top networking mistakes is a lack of patience in conversations and wanting to pitch your sale from the beginning. This will most definitely not help you in any way because that person you are talking with will without a doubt sense you are not genuine in having a conversation with them and the interaction will be a complete waste of time for both parties.
Not Meeting Enough People
Although you want to build strong relationships with your networking contacts, the goal is to meet as many people as possible when you’re networking. You definitely want to be a social butterfly, if you are a shy person try to force yourself out of you shell just for a few hours. Networking is not the time to tell your life story or to make a sales presentation, you want to have a genuine conversation with a person, exchange information and move on to the next.
Make sure to use these tricks next time you are planning on going to a networking event and you really want to make the best of it.
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