What's the Personal Aspect of Networking that Makes it so Effective?
By Alys Sadler
Firstly, I think that we can all agree that people like people who set goals and make an effort to achieve them. Job search is no different.
Think about it. When you meet someone and get involved in a conversation, most of the time one of the first things that comes up is “what do you do?”
It’s an ok thing to say that you’re looking for a job. The next question that may come up is the perfect Segway for your Elevator Pitch. Share your goals in the job search process and what type of networking you’ve been involved in. Right there, you’re already more interesting. Don’t you think? I mean if the shoe were on the other foot, wouldn’t that person be more interesting to you if they shared all of that information that is truly a sign of maturity, responsibility, and self-confidence. You sound interesting.
You never know who you’re talking to. It could be someone who owns a company, a department head, or maybe someone who knows where the company is hiring. You just never know.
When you’re in job search mode, expect that everyone you meet is a potential employer or co-worker. That way you’ll never embarrass yourself. You may not get a second chance at making a first impression.
It’s important to realize that when you speak to people you don’t know, if you present yourself in a way that is professionally attractive, if that person does know of a lead or contact for a job it could very well be that they may give you permission to give their name as the person who told you about the job.
Think about it. Are you the person you would refer to a business or manager for a job opening? If you are, great! You’re headed in the right direction. If not, think about what changes you could make for yourself that would make you want to refer you. Interesting right?
People like people who use soft skills when interacting. You know soft skills – the behavior one exhibits. Communications – effective listening, courtesy. Those are soft skills and if you are one that knows how to speak and present yourself with poise, grace, and confidence, they may not remember your name, but they will never forget you. Which reminds me, carry your business cards with you.
If you don’t have a business card because you’re unemployed, have some made. Put your name and contact information on them including your LinkedIn address, and a website if you have one. If you don’t consider creating one from a free source like Weebly or Wix. That’s it. If you have a set job title e.g., Engineer, Construction, Sales, or the like, add that too and take them wherever you go. Now, that’s impressive. By-the-way, you should keep your business cards in a business card holder – they fit in a purse or a pocket, it will keep them clean and crisp. Carry them with you.
Those are all examples of what makes networking so professionally personal. You want to make a lasting impression with information enough to contact you again if they hear about something. If you can get their card do that too. Now you’re networking, with a personal touch!
Love and light,