When it comes to finding a career, networking is an absolute must. Forming relationships with those who can help you further your goals is the nature of business. You should be able to use your skills to benefit other; in turn, others’ unique skill-sets should be able to benefit you. If you formulate your networking strategies without thinking of meeting these needs yourself, you may be shooting yourself in the foot and wasting your time. To be able to find value, you must prove yourself to be valuable.
In this article we will define networking and then review popular networking tactics for serious job seekers.
What is Networking for a Job?
Networking for job opportunities is the act of fostering relationships with those in your field of interest. This can be peer to peer communication or direct communication with those with jobs to offer. Many different channels exist for networking.
Let’s Take a Look at Some of Your Networking Strategies.
You may be employing the following networking tactics:
- Communicating with Businesses Directly to Land a Job
- Marketing Yourself on Social Media to Expand your Reach
- Owning Your Own Website and Blog to Establish Credibility
- Passing Out Business Cards to Establish Credibility
- Attending Public Events to Form Relationships
- Creating Videos on Youtube to Increase your Audience
Direct Business Communication
Marketing yourself to businesses directly is a very pure form of networking but can be challenging; this is due to the fact that the one offering the job is the one “in the driver’s seat.” However, by presenting yourself as someone who has unique skills to offer a company can neutralise this dichotomy. Also, being in communication with multiple businesses at once ensures you don’t “put all your eggs in one basket.” The rule of thumb is be personable – while making sure to communicate your value to the company, make sure you are listening intently to what needs you may need to fill. Instead of pretending that you have value by thinking too much about what you’re going to say, remind yourself of what makes you valuable before you make the call or send the email.
Social media a very natural form of networking in that it is a dialogue between peers. Communication between peers is more relaxed as there is much less expectation to be had in either party. However, due to the fact that is is so laid back, it can be an excellent place to find opportunity. Everyone has something to offer, and everyone knows somebody. Networkers can tap into this by fostering relationships with peers that extend beyond friendship into business. Demonstrating value on social media can be as simple as being a good listener and a good friend; by doing this, you may find that your friends can help you further your business goals. Remember to focus on the fact that business communication is a trade; if you’re too focused on what you can get from the person you’re talking to, you may quickly turn them off.
Your Own Website and Blog
Establishing credibility is very important when looking for a job. Owning your own website and blog can help you establish this credibility. When speaking to someone who has a job or to someone connected to your field, it a big selling point to be able to direct them to your professional website that showcases your knowledge and unique skills. Just the fact of having an attractive website that contains useful information shows you as someone who is willing to put in work to create a product; the company ascertains that you will be able to create for them in the same way. Nowadays, blog creation is very simple via platforms like WordPress. Even a once a week blog post can help you slowly but surely build an audience of people that facilitate the meeting of your goals.
Having something that represents you that people can actually hold onto is another credibility boosting tool. A business card is an excellent form of tangible media that can be passed around to potential partners. That way, instead of being so verbose when marketing yourself to another, you can simply pass a card that helps summarise the point. Additionally, business cards help keep you in the mind of those that you have already networked with. Business cards can be left in stores or pinned to bulletin boards. It is very easy and cost effective to create your own business card on Vista Print; it is a worthwhile investment to include in your networking arsenal.
Public events are a great way to meet people. Networking events are workshops where people go to share their skills and cultivate business relationships. However, these events do not necessarily have to be networking events, they can be concerts, car shows, art shows and other gatherings. It is easy to get talking to people during crowded events. While being sure not to rush into the marketing aspect, it never hurts to pass a business card to someone you may have established a rapport with. The more you present yourself to people, the greater your chances of meeting the right people that share your interests.
Youtube can be a surprisingly effecting networking medium. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video? Youtube is a great channel to broadcast your gifts in a way that attracts viewership from those who already have an interest in your field. Even if not found through search traffic, youtube videos are another credibility enhancing tool that you can direct potential partners to.
Viewers will be getting to know you a very intimate way via your informative and engaging videos. You should present yourself on Youtube in the same way that you would present yourself face to face; be yourself, and be confident in your abilities.
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