Recently, having dinner with friends the subject of dreading networking came up. For many it’s exactly that – a dreadful situation. However, networking is likely to be your most fruitful job search or career transition activity.
If you want to be successful, you need to spend time networking. The critical missing piece to this advice is exactly how to network and fortunately, research shows that an aversion to networking can be overcome.
Here are a few networking do’s and don’ts to help you get started.
- Build a solid profile on LinkedIn, personalize the URL, and use it in your email signature.
- Before the event, get up to speed on the individuals and their industry or group. Find out who is going and come up with some conversation starters
- Set measurable networking goals and strategy
- Be confident; maintain eye contact
- Speak your name clearly (first and last)
- Make a good first impression
- Learn to listen attentively
- Find common interests
- Look for opportunities to help
- Gain trust and learn to trust, in order to build relationships
- Follow up with a new contact as soon as you can
- Don’t wait until a crisis hits; network now
- Don’t be a wallflower – try to socialize
- Don’t mumble or just introduce yourself by first name or nickname
- Don’t ask for a job
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
- Don’t ramble or give a condensed version of your resume
- Don’t start a conversation with your business card
- Don’t present a non-professional image. Be mindful of your status updates and the photos that you post on social media
- Don’t forget to follow up in a timely manner
- Don’t expect immediate results
Remember, if you’re not networking, you’re not working. Continue to build strong credibility, expand your current list of contacts, and build relationships.
In an increasingly digital world, taking a step into the physical world for real live relationship-building goes a long way in helping you stand out and making connections that matter.
If you are looking for support in shaping your career or transitioning to a new job, or if you simply need resume and LinkedIn profile professional branding assistance, our consultants and technology will help you move forward with clarity, focus and success. To learn more about Don’t Dread Monday Career Coaching Click Here.