There are many steps involved when looking for a job. From the job search, to perfecting your resume, there are plenty of things you need to consider when you begin the process. However, one thing that you can do consistently, whether you are looking for a job or not, is utilizing the power of networking. This skill doesn’t necessarily come naturally to everyone, so today we want to discuss some tips to help you become an expert networker.

Networking is beneficial to your career as it allows you the opportunity to market yourself organically and enables you the chance to connect with other professionals. This is key as you can make a lasting impression where people are more likely to reference your expertise than that of others, or keep you top of mind for job opportunities.

Here are some tips to help you perfect your networking abilities:

Be genuine

Many people believe that networking is all about numbers. However, it is much more important to build authentic and genuine relationships with fewer people rather than superficial relationships with many people. To do this, before reaching out to someone, learn about them. This way, when you ask to connect, you can speak to something specific you respect or admire about them. By showing others that you care about finding out what they do, and what they have accomplished, they are more likely to be interested in getting to know you as well.

Practice active listening

When meeting someone new, keep the subject to them and not you, as it is vital to be a good listener. If you have requested to connect with an individual, show that you are truly interested in getting to know them both professionally and personally. Before meeting, or speaking with them, prepare a list of questions you would like to ask. When they are answering, acknowledge what they are saying, and ask follow-up questions. Practicing active listening will make the person feel seen and valued, which will help build your relationship further.

Show your value

Networking is a two-way street. Therefore, it is key to ensure that you are an active and valuable member of the relationship. Offer your expertise and insight and be available to the other person when they have questions or are seeking resources.

In many cases, people approach networking to get something. However, it is best to approach the relationship thinking about what you can give to others. By focusing on providing, you will establish true connections. You need to invest in the relationships you are building, and by giving without expectations, you are more likely to achieve this.

Be appreciative

“Thank you!” goes a long way when networking. When someone has offered their time or resources, don’t take their kindness for granted. Show your appreciation by sending them a personalized email or even a handwritten note. It is also important to stay in touch, to ensure you keep the relationship fresh and top of mind. Consider how you would want to be treated and treat those in your network in the same way. This is good practice and will also help you establish long-lasting connections.

Networking is an effective way to build bridges that can lead to other opportunities. Therefore, take some time and consider what you can do to build genuine connections. Of course, you should make sure your resume is in tip top shape should an opportunity arise! If you would like to discuss your resume, or job search with us, contact our team today!