A good article which tells you how to make the most of your contacts in the modern marketplace. Highly recommended!
Join LinkedIn [http://www.linkedin.com], which will allow you to connect with current and former associates—and their networks, too. “At this point, if you’re not on LinkedIn, people wonder why,” says Barbara Safani [Career Coach]. (Bonus: Recruiters often use it as a database.)
Request information, not a job: “When you ask for a job, there is a yes or no answer,” says Safani, “and it can feel like you’re begging.” Instead, explain exactly what you want and inquire about others who might be good for you to talk to. “Or pick their brain about the industry; that can be flattering.”
Be on-message all the time. Prepare a succinct, compelling pitch about what you’re looking for and why you’re qualified. Then keep this message consistent in your résumé, your online profiles, and your conversations. Never say, “I’ll take anything.” If you do, people won’t know how to help you.
Be helpful to others: “Networking isn’t just something you do when you’re looking for a job,” says Louise Fletcher [Résumé Expert]. “If you help people out whenever you can, those favours will come back to you when you need them.”
Incorporating Social Media: When networking (especially during in face to face), ask those that you meet and like if they’re interested in being connected on LinkedIn and even Twitter with you. This now means, you have a passive way of staying connected. Do ensure that all of your posts reflect interesting and actionable ideas that add value to your audience and position you as a thought leader.
Invest in Networking: Think of ways of making small deposits (or investments) in a relationship, like inviting those you like to an event, giving recognition, purchasing a gift, or referring business. The essence of networking is giving so, as you make contacts (the ones you like most and seem to be the most important), look for thoughtful, creative, and fun ways to make deposits and potentially help them.
Be Specific on who you want to meet: it is very important to know who a great connection is for you. The more specific you are about those you wish to meet, the more likely it is that you’ll meet them. In fact, when describing who you want to meet, it’s best not to use words like anyone, everyone, and someone as they equate to no one. What industry, profession, market segment, niche, and geography are you targeting? Who are the best probable prospects and referral sources for you?
Always remember that Networking involves building and maintaining contacts and relationships with other people.
Start the Journey NOW!
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