Updated: Jun 26
According to BusinessInsider.com, up to 80 percent of those looking for jobs find their new position through networking. After all, as the saying goes–it’s not what you know but who you know (that gets you ahead). Networking happens at official events, but it also happens in line at the bank or while picking up groceries. Be ready at any moment because you could turn a networking opportunity into a job interview. Here are a few things to keep in mind to accomplish that.
Be professional. If you want a networking opportunity to lead to a job interview, start out on the right foot and show nothing but professionalism. If you’re networking in person, dress the part and come prepared with printed resumes and business cards. If you’re trying to approach someone online, proofread your correspondence not only for errors but also for tone. When sending an email to a connection you don’t know personally, make sure you include the name of the person who referred you and compliment them as an expert in the field you’re interested in.
Show give and take. No one likes to feel a relationship is one-sided, not even in a networking situation. If you are the one who is new and needs the leads and guidance, still offer something in return. Ask questions to see where you could be helpful. If the person you’re networking with is much higher up the ladder, maybe she has a daughter in college who you can help find a summer job. Don’t underestimate what you can bring to the table.
Be likeable. Ultimately, a networking relationship is just that—a relationship. And just like with any such connection, you enjoy being around those people who make you feel good about yourself and about life in general. Show your drive and motivation, but also demonstrate trust and integrity. Now is not the time to talk about feeling depressed. There is a place for that, but this kind of relationship is best formed on positivity and enthusiasm.
Keeping these tips in mind the next time you find yourself networking with another individual helps you land more interviews. The key is being prepared before the opportunity presents itself. If you’re actively job searching, it can’t hurt to keep copies of your resume and references in your car since you never know who you might run into. You don’t want simple things like not being prepared to keep you from new job opportunities.
3 tips for turning networking into a job