You have amazing work experience, a finely tuned resume and a well written cover letter. Great! However, you could be missing out on one of the most influential aspects when it comes to finding your dream job: networking.
When it comes to the job search, you want to make sure you have the perfect balance of “what you know” and “who you know.” No matter how much experience you have in your industry, networking can give you that extra advantage that will propel you towards a job you enjoy.
If you want the chance to find amazing recommendations and job offers through word of mouth, you’ll want to start networking as soon as possible. Here are some networking tips that you can use to make great new connections and get your foot in the door of your industry’s community!
Tip #1: Choose a networking style
The first tip we’d like to share is the importance of creating a style of networking that’s all your own. As there is no “right” way to network, you’ll want to make sure you can create a way that you can easily maintain.
Every person is unique and communicates in a different way, so you shouldn’t expect your preferred style of networking to be the same as everyone else’s. Developing your own style can help you become more comfortable making connections with others in a way that works best for you.
In order to do this, you should assess your own communication strengths and weaknesses to see where you fit in best in terms of networking. Are you better in person, meeting with people at events and workshops? Or do you prefer to network through online tools like social media and email connection?
Being conscious about your preferred style of communication can save you time and stress when trying to connect with others.
Tip #2: Try volunteering
Want a way to network that also allows you to give back to causes you believe in? Say hello to the wonderful world of volunteer work.
Volunteering for a nonprofit organization in your industry that promotes change you want to see can actively double as a way to make amazing work connections. With similar people coming together to all work on the same cause, you get to communicate with and get to know people that may actually have connections in the field you’re trying to get hired in.
Search for volunteer opportunities in your area and use keywords that relate to the industry of your choice. Then, choose the one that resonates with you and put your time in towards a good cause while also meeting with like-minded industry connections!
Tip #3: Brand yourself
When networking with anyone, you want to make sure the image you put out is one that shows you’re a great fit for any job openings. You always want to make sure you’re well aware of the perception people may get from you when networking.
This is why it’s good to focus on your own “self-branding”. Be aware of what strengths you can present to others, such as your personality, your unique set of talents, and the way you collaborate with others to problem solve. Providing a great first impression – both in appearance and in skill – can really help you win people over with great connections in your industry.
If you can focus these aspects of yourself and present them successfully to the world, you’re on your way to a great personal brand that will elevate your networking possibilities.
Tip #4: Be yourself
While this tip seems obvious, it can be easy to slip into a persona that doesn’t accurately represent your work skills and individual identity when trying to network with important professional experts. While wanting to impress your colleagues is natural, it does not mean you should present a false representation of who you are.
The best thing to do when networking is to be yourself in all aspects. Showcase the expertise you have in your area, but don’t add fluff words or fabricate tasks you’ve completed. Present those you’re networking with your authentic personality and stay true to your own personal quirks and communication style. A true first impression will bring you a lot further than a false one.
Focusing on the real you in terms of professional work and personality will really help you win over your peers in the networking world.
These 4 tips are a great way to get started on your path to better networking. Start your networking journey today and see where it can take you in the future!