Did you know that more people get hired through networking than any other method? Studies carried out by Manpower group, ABC News, the CEO of the Alder Group, and many more have proven this time and time again. Turns out the phrase “It’s all about who you know” isn’t far off the mark!
So what can you do with this information? Get out there and network!
Now we know that networking sometimes gets a bad rep for its vapidity. The last thing anyone wants is to spend time collecting a handful of business cards that they’ll most likely forget about, while coming up with clever ways to answer the ceaseless “so.. what do you do?” questions. But play your cards right (pun intended) and you might find that networking is easier than it looks.
Here are some the of the best networking tips to help steer your career in a new direction.
1. Use what you’ve already got!
Everyone has a network, and it’s usually bigger than you think. You may complain about not knowing the right people, but most likely you haven’t asked your connections who they know! Make a point to reconnect with your network and remind them of you. More often than not you know someone that can get you a job, or they know someone who’s looking, but they just haven’t thought of you.
Another great way to scope your network is to re-connect with professors or classmates from your university, old coworkers, even teammates of the clubs or some other group of which you were a part of. Maybe you haven’t spoken to them in years or you have no idea what’s going on in their lives, but you’d be surprised at how much people remember and how delighted they would be to hear from you.
2. Attend networking events
Now if you tend to be on the shy side, these can be a bit daunting. However, networking events are a great way to meet like-minded individuals of which you have not previous connection to. The idea is to attend networking events that are relevant to your field or industry and knowing who’s going to be there and who you want to meet.
People generally like those similar to themselves, and this can be a great starting point if you’re struggling to expand your network. Try searching for networking events in an online search engine to find new opportunities. Sites like Eventbrite and Meetup can also be useful for discovering new events; you could even scour Facebook and LinkedIn groups online — which takes us to our last tip..
3. Use Social Media!
Although it may seem a bit taboo, there is no shame in connecting with someone over internet. It’s true that your words behind a screen may create an impersonal barrier, but it also allows you to connect with someone that you may not ever be able to meet under other circumstances.
Just as with the networking events, find online communities within your field and get involved with the conversation! Join relevant groups on different platforms, comment on the works of others, share content, even strike up a conversation with one of your target companies. Your online presence can be a powerful thing and is a tool to be used wisely.
Finally, understand that even if you already have a job, you should still be networking on a consistent basis. Building and maintaining relationships with others is an ongoing process that starts way before you’re even looking for a new job, if not your first one.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and network! All it takes is a single “hello.”
To kick start your professional networking, why not join myHRcareers community and sign up to our next free Networking event here?