No matter what industry you work in or how far you have progressed in your career, networking skills will always be important. Especially if you are looking for a job.
Over the years, networking methods have changed to accommodate our new digital world and all the changes that come with it. That being said, it can be difficult to know which networking trends to follow and which to leave behind. That’s where we come in.
As a job board focused on recruiting early career candidates, we know what it takes get your dream job. And we also know everything that came before that, including effective networking.
But now the question arises – what does it take to be good at networking?
Before you get on the elevator, before you shake hands, before you even say hello, you need to be ready to have an impactful conversation. Although you can’t always choose the time, place, or person to communicate with, you can still be prepared for an insightful exchange.
For example, it’s always important to stay on top of trending news and topics in your industry. Knowing what’s going on will help you fill the conversation and raise relevant points for discussion. In case you know the person you are going to talk to, make sure you know who they are, what they do, and who they do it for.
While you can comment on your offer or ask a question, one of the most important tips for making connections is to listen. Depending on what your ultimate goals are, you may be motivated to network to get a job, learn more about a field, or expand your contacts. But there’s no reason why you can’t do all three if you follow this one rule.
No one wants to talk to a person who does not allow them to express themselves. Plus, the more you talk, the less time he has to give you advice, information, and insight that can improve your professional career trajectory.
In addition to listening, you should be able to ask questions as they relate to what you are discussing. If you have a really good question you’ve been sitting on, feel free to ask it. But asking questions that guide the natural flow of the conversation will not only get you more information, but also make things more enjoyable for both people.
Some examples of questions you can ask include things like their opinion on how the industry is doing or certain news topics, where they would like to see the company in five or more years, and anything else that makes you curious the work you are going to do. Again, use this as both a time to learn information and a time to make an impression.
Use the Internet!
As horrible as it sounds, finding people online is pretty easy these days. A simple search for the person’s name and the company they work for will most likely bring up their work bio or LinkedIn profile where you can contact them. One thing to keep in mind is to make sure your account looks good on the platform you’re messaging them on. So no parties and compromising scenarios.
Almost all networking is done online these days. So if you haven’t already, make sure your networking techniques and digital persona are in tip top shape and start building that network!
This last networking tip is always forgotten by early career professionals. Just because you’ve made a connection and had an interaction or two, your work isn’t done.
Keeping things real and authentic, reach out to your new connection at different times. Keep an eye on what they’re doing, contact them online, maybe arrange to have coffee later, but whatever you do, make sure you stay close enough to be remembered, but far enough away to not bore them.
Over time, you’ll be able to master all of these networking techniques and use them to your advantage both during and after your job search. For more career advice and information on hiring in 2022, check out our blog.