Is Your Job Search Networking Working?
In the last LinkedIn workshop I conducted, I asked the question, “What do you not like about networking?”
This is what I heard:
- It does not work!
- I give people my card but never talk to them again.
- I don’t know what to say to people to keep following up with them month after month.
- No immediate gratification.
Well, I heard more but you get the idea. Yes, networking can be exhausting and all for not if not done correctly.
Here are the 3 keys to networking that I see most people skip and the successful networkers do religiously!
1. Treat your everyday life as a networking event. Sure there are some great events to attend but you never know who you might run into at Starbucks. Especially at 3pm at the Starbucks right next to the company you have been targeting in your job search. Don’t wake up in the morning and put the “unemployed” clothes on to go about your day. Put the “working professional” clothes on.
Even if you are working, do not slip into a comfort zone of “well, I really like my job” because you never know what tomorrow brings and starting to network just when you ARE looking for a job is a big disadvantage. Get involved in committees in and out of your company to increase your visibility. Also, see You Can Do a Job Search without Quitting Your Job.
2. First impression magic!!! I know you have heard about the importance of a first impression but there is something magical about when we make a really good one. As a Headhunter, I am contacted by many people on the job market and I can tell right off when someone has let the stint of unemployment take a toll on their first impression. A magical first impression conveys an attitude of energy, enthusiasm and passion for the work they do. That type of thing sticks with people! Stay clear of all signs of depression, aggravation, discouragement, desperation and blame.
3. Give First. Get later! This is, by far, the most important and overlooked key to success in professional networking. In my workshops, when I ask participants how to build relationships once you make the contact, maybe, 1 out of 50 brings up this concept. WOW! This is a general life principle that, like most, can be a principle in professional success as well. Here are some “give first” actions.
- Build alliances by going out of your way to help others out.
- Look to see what others in your LinkedIn network are asking for and see if you can do a networking favor.
- When you meet someone, ask about their needs instead of going straight into your needs.
- Make your follow up about their need.
Most of the professionals I work with regarding career moves are Sr. Management and above making 100k+ and so many of them tell me,
“I wish I understood the importance of networking earlier in my career.”
For more networking and job search tools see our Facebook Page.
Register for the next LinkedIn workshop in Boston.
Posted by: Saundra Lee President Dubin & Lee