Becoming a Great Networker
Job hunting in today’s market requires various skills, one of which is networking. When done properly, it can make a positive impact on your career. However, the opposite can also be true. Bad networking can ruin your reputation. Here are some suggestions on becoming a successful networker.
- Become the “regular” of your networking group. Showing up to all the functions of your group will help you get to know every member and, in turn, they will know you. If they know someone who is hiring, they will be more likely to think of you if you’ve made a strong connection.
- Don’t wait for opportunity to knock on your door, go out and make it happen. Networking doesn’t happen ONLY at networking events. Step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Attend events you might not normally attend. You never know where the next job offer will come from.
- Always follow up with new connections. Exchanging emails or business cards is a start, but following up to make a stronger connection is important. Remember, the more a person knows about you, the more likely they will be to refer you for positions where they feel you’d excel.
- Ask questions. While it’s important you get your information out to people, no one wants to network with someone who is all about himself. Be sure to ask questions and listen attentively to the answers. Asking open ended questions is a great way to get a conversation started, which will result in creating a stronger connection.
- While focusing on what’s going wrong is easy, you should keep your conversations and attitude positive. People will see you are an optimistic person and will be more receptive to engage in meaningful conversation.
Implementing some of these strategies when networking will help you establish stronger more meaningful connections with people in your networking groups. You will also start to expand your circles, giving you more opportunity to find that perfect job.
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