Getting the Most out of Networking
02 Jan 2016
Whether you're looking for a new job, seeking a promotion in your current one or simply trying to develop new business relationships, networking is a vital lifeline. But if you're not prepared to put in the work, is networking a waste of time? Read on for our top tips on getting the best out of networking..........
Networking is still the most important skill for any career move. It helps you develop valuable contacts, maintain business relationships and enhance your market knowledge. It also increases your personal brand in the market place.
Whilst social media is definitely a useful tool for networking, be careful how you use it. Make sure you never put anything on an online profile that could come back to haunt you when interviewing for new roles.
LinkedIn - Make sure your photo looks professional. Ask clients and colleagues for recommendations and make sure they are visible on your profile. These serve to enhance your credibility in the market. Raise your visibility by contributing to groups. It will start a dialogue and raise your profile online.
Twitter - Twitter can be used both on a professional and personal basis while LinkedIn seems to be the choice of many professionals. Reaching out to colleagues and fellow sector professionals is definitely the way to enhance your connections.
Facebook - Facebook is mainly for social purposes and should be treated as such. Always make sure that you activate your privacy settings and be selective about who can view your content.
Meeting people really is an ideal way to network and increase your chances of success in both your job search and business in general. So, get yourself out there and network!
Personal Referral - Nothing helps a job search more than a personal referral. Strong relationships are built on face to face contact. This means that you have got to get out there and make yourself visible in your target market.
Listen - It’s not all about you, remember to listen to other people too! You may be able to help them and this will help create the basics for a solid working relationship. You never know when they could be of help to you.
Attend Events - Register your attendance at current and upcoming events, whether with your professional institute or the local Chamber of Commerce. It can be intimidating at first walking into a room where you don’t know anyone, but remember that everyone did it at least once.
Get Involved - Ask your professional institute how you can get involved with their committees and events. They are always keen to have members take an active interest and this can only serve to increase your visibility in the market.
'Elevator Pitch' - Have an 'elevator pitch' prepared. This is just a brief introduction of yourself and your company. Remember networking is not always about looking for a new job, it’s also about making contacts that could develop your current business.
Follow Up - Always ensure that you follow up on any new connections that you have made at an event. Send an email after an event reminding them of who you are and try and connect with them online as well.
For further advice on career progression, talk to your Brightwater Consultant by contacting our office on:
Belfast | +44 28 90 325 325 | belfast@brightwaterNI.com