How to Use Networking to Your Advantage During Job Search Success
Networking with people can be a great thing or it can be a total waste of time if you do not know how to do it right. I have found over the years that the best way to network effectively is to learn how to improve your networking skills. Networking, like any other skill, can be honed, improved, and polished to perfection by consistent practice. Many people believe that in order to be successful at networking you must spend countless hours talking to strangers and trying to get them to agree with you without actually being able to connect with anyone in particular. This is a common myth and an expensive one at that.
Spend time on the phone. Do not get caught up in all the “I have to have X number of phone interviews” hype. Because then, you miss out on everything that can be done on the phone, including networking with people who may have job opportunities with your company, or might be looking for a job elsewhere.
Don t waste time on career networking. If you have not been successful in your past career searches and are interested in finding new ones, do not waste your time going to job search seminars, job fairs, career counseling, etc. Instead, do what you normally do in order to find a new career, which is to network.
Make a list of the people you already know and want to connect with. Then, connect with them. Now, the main thing to remember here is that you need to be specific as far as who you are searching for. For instance, if you are in the financial sector, you would want to expand your network of career prospects to include people with jobs in banking, insurance, investment, etc. However, when it comes to new connections to your career, you want to make sure you network with people who are in your current career field.
The reason why is because you need to stay in the current network of contacts you have. When you expand your career network, you run the risk of losing the people you know and the job-search skills you developed over your career. The connections you develop will only come about with time spent networking with people in the same field. But when you focus on expanding your current network, you will avoid losing those valuable skills.
A final note on networking: When you spend time networking with people outside of your current circle, don t always focus on your future goals. While it is always good to try to get your name in front of people outside of your circle, you should also focus your efforts on building new connections. You need to spend time building relationships with the people outside of your professional circle, and at the same time, you need to try to find ways to network with people in your industry. By focusing on the two aspects of networking, you can ensure that both parts of your networking plan happen naturally.