“It’s people you know!”
This quote may actually be right, but how do you do it? How do we successfully network with people and what makes the person you’re reaching out to want to help you find a job?
Read on to get our top 5 tips and tricks on networking successfully.
- Start Using Social Media
For many, face-to-face contact is a daunting experience. With social media, it is a lot easier to get to know someone who shares the same background and interests as you. It also helps you know beforehand whether you would like to put in the time getting to know someone.
Start using the following platforms:
- Google Plus
Engage with content that other people are sharing and liking. Comment your thoughts and opinions on a shared topic; this can be a great conversation starter and a point to refer back to if and when you meet this person face-to-face.
Also, get involved and spice up your profile with a profile picture, a biography and some interesting posts. Don’t forget to take some time to browse through your posting history and make sure you aren’t sharing or involving yourself with any offensive or controversial topics.
Quick tip: mass-requesting to follow people is not the right way to network. It is not about the numbers, but the quality of each connection you make.
Read below to find out how to form genuine relationships.
2. Arrive Early to Events
Events are a fantastic opportunity for you to cheerlead your skills and show off your best self. But it can be uncomfortable when you walk into the venue and see hundreds of people huddled in their own bubble. So arriving early to events can be beneficial because you can form a group with those who are just arriving. Everyone would love to talk to somebody, and this is a great way to introduce yourself.
3. It’s Give & Take
Many people forget that networking is a two-way street. When you approach someone, talk about yourself, and then ask for a favour, you are essentially coming across as selfish. And of course, it would be fantastic to just walk up to someone, ask for a CEO position and get it – just like that. I wish that was true…
But networking is all about building a rapport. When you meet someone, what can you offer them? What will they gain from talking to you? Knowing all of this and being able to share this across naturally will help the keep the other person engaged with the conversation and invested in you.
4. Be Kind and Be You!
Build genuine relationships. Just be yourself. In many comedic films, when the protagonist goes to an office party and tries to network by being self-aggrandising and pretentious, it always ends in a flop. I’m not sure if this was the old way to network, but in 2021, people are becoming more open to real people.
If you’re feeling anxious about the event, prepare some questions you’d like to know about someone beforehand. Have some cue-cards at hand, so you can drive the conversation. And know that awkward, silent moments happen. If you don’t click with someone, just thank them for their time and wish them well.
5. Listening is Just as Important…
Listening to others is so important, more so than the talking. People are so quick to talk about themselves that the conversation becomes one-sided.
Picking up on some of the things that they say can help you so much in the conversation. If you’re able to relate to someone’s experience and bringing it back to circulation in the conversation will reflect on you as a good listener.
The Careers Team can help with: ‘CV Preparation, Interview Skills Practice, LinkedIn Assistance, Confidence Building, Advice on Where to look for Job Opportunities, Placement Advice, The Value of Volunteering and more….’
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