According to billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, “Succeeding in business is all about making the right connections”, and when it comes to the job hunt, it’s often a case of not what you know, but who you know.
Here we look at how to become a master networker and how it can help land your dream job!
Pimp Your Profile
As your online business card and resume, an up-to-date professional LinkedIn profile is a key asset for the master networker. Jump online and ensure all sections are complete, then reach out to former colleagues, teachers and clients to source recommendations to help build your reputation. Browse your extended network to find new contacts and check out LinkedIn groups to connect with people working in different industries and build professional relationships. LinkedIn is also useful for finding professional events, workshops, volunteering and work experience opportunities. If you have business cards, remember to include the details of your LinkedIn profile. Get linking!
The Art of Schmoozing
Attending events is a great way to mingle with like-minded people from your industry, to build professional connections and share ideas. Connect over work chat, take time to listen, and discuss your passions outside of work too. Be interesting! If the thought of networking with a roomful of strangers induces a panic attack, just position yourself near the cheese platter and remember that most people at events are in the same boat as you, not knowing many people. Be brave, channel your inner Sir Richard and dive in with an icebreaker. You can do it!
Make Friends at Work
Not only will having work BFFs make Mondays easier and your overall work time more enjoyable, but it will also help build your network and potentially lead to job opportunities in the future. Make an effort to go to work lunches and happy hours, and strike up conversations to discover common interests you share outside of work. Ask questions, listen and open the lines of communication to build strong relationships with colleagues. Be confident!
Find a Mentor
If you want to go somewhere, the best way is to find someone who has already been. Seeking the advice from someone on the professional path you wish to be on is invaluable, and finding a mentor can be a significant help with building your career. Use LinkedIn to reach out to people in your industry that you admire and send an invitation to connect with a note about how you are interested in hearing about their career. You have nothing to lose!
Building connections through networking can help with your job search and is a key force behind career advancement... and if it’s good enough for a boss like Sir Richard Branson, then it’s good enough for us. Go forth and connect!