From social media messaging to in-person networking, there’s no shortage of ways that people can network to discuss job opportunities. But if you’re looking to network, you need to know there are right and wrong ways to do it. If done properly, networking can mean the difference between success and failure.
Even if you have a job now, you should still network — because it can help boost your career in the long run. Here’s how:
It can bring job opportunities your way.
When you attend a networking event, you never know who you might meet. The person you’re chatting with could be the CEO of a small startup or the hiring manager in a large facility. So make sure to meet as many people as you can when you’re at a networking event. Get their business cards and hand out yours. But always try to make a personal connection. You’re easier to remember if you stand out and are likeable. And if you do stand out, you might find yourself on a shortlist when job opportunities open up.
It can help you practice your pitch and gain confidence.
As a job seeker, you probably have something to say about your goals, ambitions and skills. Networking gives you the chance to practice and polish the messages you want to deliver to potential employers.
It can also help you gain confidence when speaking to a crowd and introducing yourself to new people. Most people attend networking events for the same reasons as you, so grab a name badge, put on a smile, and start making connections.
It will help you stay on top of your career field.
Before you go to a networking event, do your homework. Brush up on industry trends, and read the latest industry trade publication or blog. Start thinking about questions you’d like to ask a seasoned veteran in your industry. That way, when you meet someone at the event, you will have some informed questions to ask that will not only show you’re up to speed on your industry, but you’re also curious to learn more.
Networking can boost your career by giving you confidence, introducing you to new people and making important professional connections. Follow these steps to have valuable exchanges while networking — and hopefully land the job.