Networking can play an essential role in your job search. If you have a large professional network, you can stay in the loop about career opportunities that align with your expectations. Plus, you can build and maintain professional connections that last a lifetime.
Ultimately, there are many things you should and should not do as you build your professional network. Look at networking do’s and don’ts that every job seeker needs to know about.
1. Prepare for Networking Events
If you are planning to attend a networking event, plan accordingly. Research to find out who will be attending the event and schedule appointments with anyone you want to meet. Also, prepare your resume and pick up business cards to give out to event attendees. This allows you to create many opportunities to engage with industry professionals. Plus, you can show these professionals who you are, what you’re all about, and why you deserve a job within their industry.
2. Listen to What Others Have to Say
Practice active listening as you engage with other industry professionals. Focus on what industry contacts have to say and provide thoughtful responses. Resist the urge to interrupt someone while he or she is speaking. In addition, if you engage in online communications, be polite and cordial. Because you never know when an industry professional can help you find your dream job.
3. Follow Up with Anyone You Meet
To master the art of networking, you need to keep the lines of communication open. After you meet with an industry professional, follow up with him or her. You can send a brief email to thank this individual for taking the time to meet with you. When you send this email, you should do so within 24 hours of your initial meeting. Your email shows you want to build a relationship with an industry professional. It can set the stage for a mutually beneficial, long-lasting relationship for all involved.
1. Focus Solely on One Person
A networking event is an opportunity to engage with many industry professionals at one time. Do not stay with the first person you meet at an event for the entire time. Rather, introduce yourself to as many people as you can. That way, you can build an extensive professional network.
2. Be Reactive
Instead of waiting for people to come up to you at a networking event, take the opposite approach. Be calm, cool, and collected as you introduce yourself to an event attendee. Ask questions and learn about the attendee’s skills and experience. With this approach, you can break the ice with an industry professional. On top of that, you can take the first step to build a relationship with this individual.
3. Make Everything All About You
You want to build your network, but a great relationship is a two-way street. Thus, you should learn from industry professionals as you network. If you have insights to share, you should do so, too. Then, industry professionals can learn from you as well.
Ready to Find Your Dream Job?
BOS Staffing can help you expand your professional network and grow your career. To get started, explore our job board today.