It’s now 2019 and you’re probably thinking to yourself, how do I go about meeting the right people to get my dream job? Sure, you could always send out a mass of resumes to job search websites hoping that yours will be selected for further review. But let’s be realistic, there is also a sea of people doing the same thing and let me tell you, the waters are rough and unpredictable. Instead, research has shown that more than 70% of people that receive job offers do so through networking efforts. If you’re intrigued and want to learn more, here are 5 tips for networking success.
- Attend job fairs and other events.
- Always look professional and confident.
- Social media is a tool, use it.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Stand apart from the crowd.
Attend Job Fairs and Other Events
A great way to network with people face-to-face is by attending events, such as job fairs or business conferences that host people that you would like to connect with. An important step to take before networking at such events is to get a list of attendees. Then, perform a bit of research on the person or business you’d like to connect with in order be better prepared for lively discussion. This small bit of effort can go a long way in showing interest and building rapport.
Always Look Professional and Confident
When leaving your room, apartment, or house for the day, think about what you are wearing. It is a good practice to treat everyday as though you might run into your next employer, because you very well might! I know that sweat pants, baggy clothes, leggings, beanies and other lounge wear are comfortable and easy to throw on out of bed. However, as mentioned before, you never know when the next time you might run into potentially life changing connection will be. So, do yourself a favor and save the casual clothing for home or the gym, because if you dress for success every day, it will soon follow.
Social Media is a Tool, Use It
In an age of digital technology, social media is arguably one of the most powerful tools for building and maintaining a strong network. Almost every business has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. LinkedIn is also quickly becoming the leader in making connections and building a professional network. That being said, it is critical that your social media accounts are clean, professional, and convey the message that you wish to send. When used properly, these platforms allow you to reach and connect with individuals and companies that would otherwise seem impossible in every-day, chance encounters. Through social media engagement, you can make a powerful first impression before ever having met in person.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Being a college student aiming to enter the business world affords many opportunities to grow your network. Not only can fellow classmates offer insights and connections to potential employers, but the wealth of well-established networks that university faculty have should be tapped as well. Professors are not only there to teach you material, but also to assist in the transition from student to contributing member of society. Almost every single one has an invaluable store of colleagues and professionals that make up their network. Make sure to achieve top marks and show yourself as a determined student, and often they will gladly make helpful introductions. The career services center is also a great place to start if you need help extending your networking web.
Stand Apart From the Crowd
In a competitive marketplace, it is imperative to stand apart from the crowd in order to be noticed. Of course, this needs to be done in a positive and professional manner. Build unique experiences to add to your resume such as travel abroad, volunteer efforts and internships. When introducing yourself at job fairs, lead with a fun and remarkable anecdote to encourage recruiters and employers to remember you. When asking questions, actually listen to responses and then provide informed answers. Use the tools available on social media to showcase your unique qualities while remaining professional. This could include eye-catching pictures, thought-provoking posts, and even sending a friendly note attached with a connection request on LinkedIn to the head of a company. You’d be surprised how well-received this gesture can be. One other key attribute that can make you stand out when networking is not approaching a situation based on what you want, but instead, lead with what you can offer and how you can help.
In an ever-changing and vastly competitive job market, networking has been proven to be the most effective and efficient way of landing jobs. Hone these skills and companies will be searching for you, instead of the other way around.
If you’d like to learn more about networking, visit OurFirstJobSearch.com to discover more information and other valuable tools useful when marketing yourself to employers.
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