Come out, come out, wherever you are! Have you been searching high and low for the perfect job, but just can’t seem to find the hiring post that matches what you’re looking for? You’re not alone! 80% of job openings are not posted or advertised. So how are you supposed to find them? The answer is simple – networking!
What is Networking? According to Indeed, networking is when you develop connections and build relationships with people in a field that you’re interested in for the benefit of your career. This can be done through footwork, phone calls, and even social media.
The first step to networking is to come up with a strategy. Effective networking can open doors to job opportunities through word of mouth! The list of tips below will help you with conversations throughout your networking journey.
DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
It’s important to know exactly why you’re networking. Are you looking to learn more about the industry? Find a job opening? Get to know others in the field? Having a reason to be reaching out will help you figure out exactly what to say.
Gather as much information as you can about the company you’re contacting, their competition, and the individual you’ll be talking to. You can find lots of data online, in newspapers and magazines, or financial reports. Use these details during your conversation to establish common ground and make a connection.
CREATE A PLAN
Being prepared will help you look more professional! Prevent rambling by writing a script that is brief and to the point, ideally around 30 seconds or less. This is sometimes called an “elevator pitch”, and you can find some more specific details about how to create yours by clicking here.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Rehearse your speech before you give it! Make sure you have your script handy, any research documents, an updated resume, calendar, pen and paper, and any other materials you might need to have a successful conversation. Consider reaching out to your most important connection last, so you have a chance to practice with lower stakes.
CONFIDENCE IS KEY
Being prepared will help you feel and behave more confident, natural, and professional in your discussion. Smile! Even if your conversation is happening over the phone, smiling will make you feel good, and it will come through in your voice. Try to adjust your style, speed, and tone to imitate the other person and make them feel more comfortable.
Networking can open up all kinds of doors in your career, and keep you connected to professionals in the industry that you want to be a part of! After initiating a new connection, make sure to thank them for their time, and keep in touch with them moving forward to maintain the relationship and have access to those new opportunities.
If you’d like to learn more about networking and finding unposted positions, join one of our free, virtual monthly workshops: Accessing the Hidden Job Market.
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