5 Networking Tips for Jobseekers
Networking might make your job searching easier when properly executed, but it’s also just as easy as making networking mistakes and could potentially make your job searching harder. So, make sure you avoid these five common networking mistakes:
Start networking now.
Waiting until after you’re in a job seeking situation only tells your network contacts that they’re only good to you when they can help you and will make them less likely to want to help you at all. Start cultivating your network before you need it as it is something you should be working on continuously, not just when you start your job search. Building your network means building solid relationships.
Don’t expect immediate results as aggressive networking can be very be frustrating for you and can also be a major turn off for the people in your professional network. Rushing your networking makes you appear desperate, which might turn off your contacts. Although it takes time, meaningful connections and genuine relationships will get you much further in the long run.
Utilize your network properly.
It can seem awkward talking about your career and job search as job networking isn’t a skill everyone comes by naturally. One-sided conversations are horrible and don’t often work out well, but you also don’t want to have a conversation with a great contact where all you do is make small talk about nothing really at all. The key is to find a happy medium and the right balance between discussing your career goals and not talking about yourself at all. All good conversations, like relationships, are about give and take.
Always thank your contacts.
Always make sure you thank your contacts for their time and resources. Always end any conversations with a genuine thank you and then follow up again with a note, either hand written or via email. The last thing you want to do is make your contacts feel as though you don’t value them. You wouldn’t want to leave a negative impression on them that can cause you to lose that contact and have ripple effects if they tell others about you.
Return the favor.
Networking should never be a one-way street. At its core, networking is a give and take. Always be prepared to give back to your professional networking connections. Helping others in your network will make it more likely for them to remember you – and want to help you out in return.