Experts say networking is extremely important for job seekers. Most new jobs come from connections rather than blind applications. Not everyone is skilled in the art of meeting new people so mistakes are easy to make. Here are some tips and tricks to help you avoid the most common networking errors and find your next job opportunity.
- Networking is about establishing patterns. Only when you remember is not a good method for making new connections. Networking takes practice just like any other skill so the occasional exercise doesn’t help strengthen anything. Instead, schedule your time for networking. Do these two tasks once a week: connect with five individuals on LinkedIn and invite one contact to meet you in person. Choose one networking event a month or a quarter to attend.
- Lack of preparation. Every time you meet someone knew you have an opportunity. When you go out make sure you always have business cards with you. You never know where these connections will take you so always be prepared. At industry events, be sure to have your resume with you and be sure to follow up on any leads immediately.
- The wrong focus. Centering your networking on the premise that everyone you meet owes you something is the absolutely wrong approach. Most people respond better to a give and take. If you see a way you can help someone, let them know. Facilitate connections within your own network to broaden the reach.
- Avoiding technology. So many people believe that social media is a fad that will eventually pass. The truth is that social media has changed the way our entire culture communicates. Avoiding LinkedIn is missing a huge opportunity and it is only the start. Once you have a complete LinkedIn profile consider adding other social media platforms and starting a blog.
- Know when to say no. Not every opportunity or connection is right for you. You don’t have to be rude or negative but you can politely turn down the connections or situations that don’t make sense for you. If you can, refer them to someone else who may be a better fit. Instead, try to keep focused on your long term goals and only follow leads that can get you there.
Do you want to know more about networking? Meador Staffing is currently hiring for jobs in Austin TX and can help today!