Tips for job seekers to improve networking skills

09.04.2013


Tips for job seekers to improve networking skills
Tips for job seekers to improve networking skills

An extended job search can be ended in a split second if you meet the right person, but there's no way to do that without extensively networking to the best of your abilities. Whenever possible, your primary objective in meeting people should be in building relationships through effective communication, which can be achieved more easily than you'd think.

Even when discussing the difficulties of the job search, it's important to tell the truth but also remain positive about how things are going, according to Brazen Careerist. It's definitely okay for you to tell someone that you haven't had much luck recently, but appearing hostile or negative about your prospects can harm your networking opportunities as much as it can help. Keeping a positive mindset about the time you're taking in your job search will bode well for how you're perceived, and remaining upbeat about your prospects is much more likely to show your network that you're willing to put in hard work.

Eighty percent of open jobs normally aren't advertised, meaning your networking abilities can become the key to your job search's success. This also demonstrates the usefulness of working with a staffing company, which can help identify these opportunities and seek out the right fit for you. 

Asking for advice, however, is a good strategy
While asking for a job itself will look like a warning sign, asking instead for advice about what people in your network have done in the past to find work and their past experiences will result in much better reactions. People like to discuss their own success, and will love to be seen as someone who can be an authority on a subject. Asking for resume advice or interviewing help, for example, will not only get you some tips to change up your approach, but will also lead to a better image of yourself in others' minds.

Take advantage of networking events
Additionally, networking events often have a wide collection of experts and authorities in specific fields, which can give you the perfect target if they're held in the industry you're interested in finding. Having a plan before heading out for the event, such as set goals or specific people you'd like to talk to, can give you a game plan for a better experience, according to Smart Business. Arranging and practicing what you'd like to discuss with others can make you appear cool under pressure and well-versed in a topic, allowing you to better position yourself for future connections. New business cards and note-taking materials are also important so you can take down any information that can help you out.

Arrive early to any networking event you decide to attend, as the crowds will be smaller and your ability to branch out to more professionals will be much better than after the event. Don't just wait around for someone to talk to you, either - take things into your own hands, as you will appear more confident and be able to make stronger connections with others. When in a conversation, allow them to control the conversation and ask open-ended questions, as you can let them answer any additional questions you may have without becoming overly controlling of the conversation. Strong listening skills are also a plus, as you will appear respectful and patient. Ask everyone you meet for their business cards and don't be shy about connecting over social media such as LinkedIn, and remember to keep in touch often.

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