Why is networking so important?
Current studies demonstrate that networking plays a significant role in filling many job openings. Attending a networking event may help you improve your professional profile, meet exciting people, and possibly land a new job. Successful networkers take a genuine interest in the people they meet through networking and work hard to build trust, credibility, and knowledge with them. An effective networker must believe everyone has something to learn.
Professional networking is a long-term endeavor that takes patience. You'll have a leg up on the competition if you include networking in your hunt for a new job. Use these easy yet effective networking strategies to prove your worth to future customers and employers:
Leverage social media.
It's far easier to get to know a key contact on social media than in a face-to-face conversation when you could feel unprepared. Use social media sites like Google Plus, Twitter, and LinkedIn to find people with similar interests or essential connections that you would like to get to know better. Start a dialogue with them by commenting on a link they share or reacting to a comment they make, giving something of value in return. In-person meetings make it much simpler to refer back to earlier correspondence with a person.
Business cards are highly recommended.
Do yourself a favor and bring more business cards than you think you'll need so you don't have to scribble your information on a cocktail napkin. It's better to have too many than too few of anything.
Don't be afraid to strike up small talk.
According to conventional networking advice, you should try your best to avoid aimless speaking, for example, about the weather or the event itself. However, the small conversation is perfectly acceptable, and your efforts to prevent it make you more uneasy.
Conversing on a more intimate level is essential. However, small talk is a subtle approach to developing a connection and finding out anything about someone. "Jumping right into, what's your most formative childhood experience?' occasionally leads to fantastic discourse but sometimes closes down a significant chunk of individuals.
Want a low-stakes and stress-free method to start a conversation? You can start with the following questions: “Have you ever attended this event before?" The other person may quickly and efficiently respond, and you'll immediately have something in common.
Highlight the resume.
Asking people you know for recommendations on enhancing your resume is a simple yet powerful networking strategy throughout the job search. There are several advantages to using this method. When evaluating your CV, potential employers may learn about your job experience, education, and goals. They could have a connection or recall working with a firm that might be a good fit for your skillset.
Follow-up is important.
Connecting with someone is only the starting point of networking, to give them some information in common with you. Many people may underestimate the power of following up. But to keep yourself in their memory is by staying in touch. If you come across an article that expands upon a topic discussed at a networking meeting, save it and send a short note explaining why you thought it would be helpful to them. Ideally, you would schedule at least two or three occasions to see your network contacts each year.
Develop your internet profile and visibility.
Recruiters frequently utilize social media to learn more about prospective candidates and examine their online profiles. You should constantly keep your internet profile updated with new skills and pieces of training or the certificates you earn. You can also update your current achievements on the job you are working at the moment.
Sharpen your listening skills
The purpose of networking is to develop meaningful connections with others; it is not a platform for you to boast about your accomplishments. When you show genuine interest in other people, they will be more interested in you and what you offer. "So many individuals attend networking gatherings to talk," says Victoria Lioznyansky, M.S., entrepreneur, speaker, and public speaking coach. "Move the attention away from you and listen. My patrons should go hear it for themselves.”
Ask open-ended questions
You're probably hoping for a response since, once again, the point of the follow-up communication is to foster the growth of a continuing connection.
What's the best approach to accomplish it, exactly? If you need to send a follow-up letter, make sure to ask some free-form questions. Review your notes. Instead of asking a generic question like "How is the website redesign coming along?" try something more customized to the individual you're talking to.
It's a great way to show your thoughtfulness and provide them something to reply to rather than just hearing how much you loved meeting them.
Use a checklist.
As the butterflies begin to rise in your stomach just before you enter the networking event, it's a good idea to run through a mental checklist to help you feel more at ease.
Keith McHugh, CEO at Painted Rock Enterprises LLC, states, "I established an 'Attitude Checklist' that I examine before going. If I want to be in the right frame to meet new people and make connections at a networking event, I tell myself nine things to keep in mind before going. These include: I make sure I am smiling. I take responsibility for taking the initiative to meet people," and "It is not always important for me to talk about myself."
You should make your own quick checklist to go over before you start networking. If you have everything in order, it will give you the confidence you need to move on.
Say Thank You often.
Building a network entails developing genuine, loving relationships. Share any knowledge you believe will be beneficial to them. Make notes on what you discover about your connections so that your future correspondence may be more personalized. Thank your connection for the information, and see if you can assist them in any way.
Ask for suggestions for expanding your network.
One of the primary purposes of networking is not just to meet one or two individuals but also tap into the network of those you meet with. Each person you meet will know about another two hundred people. Suppose you get introduced to some of these connections. In that case, you will quickly expand your network and your chances of making an exceptionally beneficial connection. Inquire with your contacts whether they can propose a professional organization or provide you with the names of some people you should be speaking with.
I understand that having to put on a nametag and make an awkward small conversation is not everyone’s cup of tea. Here's the solution: SYP shows that networking doesn't have to be that dreadful experience. Most of us dislike it strongly because we view it all wrong. If you follow these simple guidelines, networking will be a breeze. Always keep in mind that the point of networking is to make new connections. New consumers, business partners, and other possibilities can emerge from a strong and trustworthy network. Get out there and network, but ensure you're doing it correctly by following our guidelines.