The job market is only getting more competitive. It’s said that up to 80% of job offers are not advertised, especially for senior positions. If you want to take your career to the next level and shorten your job search, making new contacts is key. Here are a few tips for successful networking:
Target your contacts
For successful networking, you need to get out of your comfort zone. Get in touch with professionals that share your common interest and create mutually beneficial relationships that align with your career goals. LinkedIn is a great tool to use. You can join different groups and target potential contacts from the same field.
Attend networking events
Nothing is better than meeting face to face. Attend an event or conference focusing on one of your personal hobbies or a topic that you are really interested in. Focusing on your personal interests will help you to naturally make new contacts without forcing yourself. Meetup.com is a very good website if you would like to meet new people with similar passions.
Have your elevator pitch ready
Knowing how to introduce yourself and how to catch the attention of your interlocutor is crucial when making new contacts. The elevator pitch is a fundamental tool for successful networking and your best means to stand out from the crowd. It should focus on your background (education and work experience), your added value and your career goals, without exceeding two minutes.
Lend a hand
This is the golden rule of networking. Collaborating and thinking of the best ways in which you can help each other will make everything easier. The more time and effort you invest, the more likely your contacts will return the favor.
Keep in touch
You never know when you need some help from one of your contacts. One of the key elements for successful networking is keeping track of your contacts (in a personal file or in a career management website like JibberJobber.com) and maintaining them. Try to keep in touch with your network from time to time by sending occasional correspondence for special occasions like birthdays and New Year’s.