Yes, we have Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and social networks in general, but Traditional Networking is still one of the most effective tools to finding a job. By traditional networking, I mean telephoning, personal email and face-to-face contacts.
Take an extra step in these challenging times, and go back to the basics of communication: It is real-life networking that will put you ahead. When everyone else is employing the same old techniques, the same old job sites, the same headhunters, answering the same ads – Traditional networking will give you your foot-up.
Here Are Some Networking Tips that will get you started:
Prepare a two Minute Positioning Statement- Prepare a quick synopsis of your background and experience and any relevant information that basically sums you up in a focused and compelling way so that when you meet someone, they immediately get “who you are” and why they can be of help to you in your job search.
Fine -Tune Your Resume – When you do meet someone, chances are the person will probably say, send me your resume. Review your resume with a critical eye and make sure that it’s focused. Add or subtract information that is relevant to your networking source.
Network Within Your Comfort Zone – Even if you are introverted there are situations that might be more comfortable for you – industry functions, special interest groups, alumni events, business meetings – these might be less intimidating because you have a common reason for being there.
Expand Your Contact List – fellow alumni, family members, neighbors, business colleagues, former clients, customers, former business contacts, bosses, vendors, etc. When you make your list, focus on the quality of the contacts, not the quantity
Build Relationships Before You Need Them – If you haven’t been in touch with someone for a while, it will be difficult to call them when you need them. Catch-up phone calls to know how they are, birthday and holiday cards, invitations to relevant events will allow you to feel more comfortable when asking for a favor.
Re-visit Recruiters – Summer is a slow time in the recruiting business. Be sure to contact them often, and don’t be reluctant to re-send your resume frequently. Keep yourself on their radar screen. Persistence is critical.
Do Not Be Afraid To Ask For Advice and Contacts ( i.e. do you know anyone in_____industry? can you refer me to them?) Most people are willing to help you if you ask the right questions and you’re focused. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for someone to help you.
…and don’t forget to always have business cards with you!