PBS recently sat down with hiring expert Nick Corcodilos to learn how job seekers can make lasting contacts and avoid being overly aggressive when networking.
While many people say they feel uncomfortable asking someone at a company if they know anybody that could put them in touch with an HR manager, it's a necessary process of getting new contacts. According to the news source, Corcodilos broke it down by separating networking into two simple categories — good and bad.
"Sadly, people squander many of the good relationships they already have because they don't stay in touch," he said, adding that it is crucial to stay in touch with any contact you make so you can avoid the worst part about networking — "obnoxious requests for introductions."
"Good networking is not about going to meetings, being on lists, and being seen. Woody Allen was wrong: Showing up is not 90 percent of success," he said. "While those things might work, they easily become rote and thoughtless behaviors that mark you as selfish."
If bad networking is simply making yourself known, then good networking is going a step further by participating and contributing. Even if you show up 90 percent of the time, as Corcodilos put it, you still must have something to offer. This could come in the form of a good idea, a move to help something run better, help a person achieve success, taking a risk or always being a part of a solution.
Corcodilos told the media outlet that it's true that this approach takes more thought, work and time, but that it will certainly pay off. You can't expect to merely show up and sit through an informational meeting and get noticed right away.
"Good networking is an investment," he said. "You must do good work again and again without expecting a return."
Keith Ferrazzi, business coach and author, told CIO magazine that networking is vital for finding a job, but it can be a huge struggle for shy people. However, even these job seekers can break out of their shells by starting small, such as a trusted friend, and seeing where the network can spread from there.