How To Make A Net – Work
Written by Craig Warren
Many job seekers are confused about networking and
therefore doubt its effectiveness. Networking is the art
of building and maintaining mutually beneficial
relationships. So, like anything else, networking
requires a bit of practice and finesse, but if done
correctly, networking can be an invaluable part of
your job search campaign.
Here are a few tips that can help develop a network that
works for you:
Networking doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process.
Networking is not just something you can check off your
job search list like “Send resume to Pfizer”.
While people may want to help you, they might not be able
to do so right away. Quite simply, you may not be the
first item on their agenda. So, if someone agrees to meet
with you but can’t do so immediately, accept their offer
graciously and patiently. Never let an opportunity to
meet with someone during the course of networking slip
away. Always be open to meeting!
Be Authentic and Kind
When you do meet with someone resulting from your
scheduling attempts, take a sincere interest in their
life, not just the information or possible assistance
they can offer you. Don’t push people for their knowledge
or connections and then abandon the relationship.
Networking means fostering relationships. This objective
cannot be achieved by one person constantly taking while
the other person constantly gives information or time.
Relationships are built on trust and sharing over time.
Remember, one day you might be in a reverse career
position so be considerate and respectful to all you
meet. Find ways to periodically reconnect with the
contacts in your network to stay up to date on their
lives and let them know that you genuinely care about
what is going on with them. Also, connecting and
re-connecting, take the time to let them know that their
advice and counsel was heard and put to good use.
Acknowledging their individual value to you and to your
career. Reinforcement of the time and advice offered by
those in your network will foster gratefulness, awareness
of their value to you and encourage them to continue
helping you and others.
Be a Conduit
Remember, the objective of networking is well more
networking. You should be constantly adding people to
your list of contacts. Always find more contacts to meet
and in turn, become a great connector yourself! Open up
your network to others. Hopefully they’ll follow suit and
do the same for you, keeping the cycle going. Think about
those contacts who could help others in your network,then
Be a Teacher
Keep in mind that not everyone you meet will understand
what networking is or how they can help you. Many people
think that the best way they can help you as a job seeker
is to take your resume and pass it along to their human
resources department. While their intentions are noble,
their strategy won’t help you and could actually wind up
being counter-productive and consequently,losing you a
HR managers, like recruiters, are sometimes only
motivated to take action on your resume if there is a
current job opening within the organization that matches
your skills. If a position is not available, they have no
incentive to contact you and the connection is lost.
Rather than giving your contacts a resume, ask them if
they could introduce you to a member of their company so
that you can learn more about their position, industry
and organization. This way, you’ll learn more about the
company, share information about yourself and begin to
build a relationship rather than ending up as just
another resume lost at the bottom of the pile.
Be a Helper
Networking is all about reciprocity. No matter who you’re
dealing with, you should always try to give more than you
receive. For example, if you have information about a
particular company, industry, or educational program that
would be valuable to someone in your network, share it.
By sharing you will help others and in turn, others will
Whether you’re currently employed or job seeking is
irrelevant – networking is a constant process. Obviously,
you’ll be more on the receiving end of your contacts’
information when you’re on the look out for a new job.
But that just means you need to work that much harder at
giving information and sharing your network while happily
If you’re constantly looking for ways to help people in
your network achieve their goals, they’ll be much more
likely to help you in return.
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