For most job candidates, networking is something they dread. The thought of attending events, making small talk with strangers, and trying to connect with new contacts can feel exhausting.
However, it can have a big impact on your job search success. It’s why it’s important to make the effort and do it anyway. In fact, most jobs are filled through word of mouth and not big job boards. If you’re not networking, you’ll never find out about them.
So how can you approach networking in a way that sets you apart? There are some steps that can make it more effective, including:
#1: Identify what kinds of networking activities work for you.
For some people, they love walking into a cocktail party filled with potential new contacts. For others, the thought of this makes them cringe and they’d rather connect with one person or small groups over coffee. Whatever is the most comfortable approach to networking for you, take it. You’ll be more successful in your efforts if you’re actually doing something you enjoy.
#2: Go beyond typical networking events.
Today, there are endless opportunities for you to network both in person and online. To stand out, though, you have to think outside the box. For instance, where are you more motivated to meet new people and connect with others? This could include through a hobby or interest you have, at your local alma mater’s alumni chapter, or with a community organization you volunteer with. Not every networking opportunity has to look like a business event.
#3: Have a goal in mind.
When you’re networking, create a game plan and have a goal in mind. For instance, if you’re attending a formal networking event, then aim to meet three new people. If you’re going to an industry conference, then work to bring back new insight and information to share with your colleagues.
#4: Follow up after you meet someone new.
When you do meet a new person, make sure you follow up, whether through text, email or on LinkedIn. Your message should be personalized and sincere, not a boilerplate one you send to everyone you meet. This will help to improve your chances of standing out to those new connections and having a greater impact on your job search in the process.
Are you ready to network your way to a new job?
Future Force can help. We’re one of Miami’s leading temporary hiring agencies and can connect you with some of the area’s best employers. Whether you’re looking for part-time, temporary or full-time work, we’re your source for your next great opportunity! Search our jobs now.