6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Network

The tried and true method of networking continues to dominate for job seekers, even in the digital age. With the creation of modernized ways to apply for jobs, job seekers have the advantage of having various methods of searching for their next opportunity at their fingertips. However, networking remains one of the most effective ways to find the job you’re looking for. Having a killer resume and experience to back it up sometimes just isn’t enough. Here are 6 tips on how to tap into your network to ultimately get in front of the right people.

  1. Make it Personal

Likeability plays a big factor in the likelihood that your contacts or prospective contacts will be responsive, so don’t make it all about business right off the bat. Having personal attributes in common will foster a greater connection, so don’t neglect getting to know who you’re talking to on a personal level. It’s also important to personalize each message you send, whether an email, phone call or message on LinkedIn, based on your current relationship.

  1. Do Your Research

Do your research about those you’re reaching out to or meeting for the first time, so you can identify any commonalities or career goals. Making each conversation count is a key aspect of networking, whether it’s online, at a meet-up, or even a large formal convention. Your research findings will help identify whether trying to set up a project to collaborate on might help cultivate a new working relationship or not.

  1. Start a Dialogue

Those you’re networking with will appreciate someone who takes the initiative to start a conversation, so don’t hesitate to reach out. However, keep in mind that part of starting a dialogue is listening, so ask questions often. When reaching out, make it worth your while by inquiring about open job positions, career advice or other networking opportunities.

  1. Maintain Existing Relationships

Setting your sights on adding new contacts to your network is important, but don’t forget about existing relationships. Just as a friendship or a marriage, relationships in your network need to be nurtured to stand the test of time. Past colleagues, supervisors and group members know you the best, so keep in touch with them in case you need a recommendation or want to bounce new ideas off them.

  1. Join Groups

Joining groups will allow you to expand your network. Better yet, if you’re the one creating the group, you will bring a new level of credibility to the table. These groups can range from local meet-ups to LinkedIn groups. Participating in groups allows you to meet other professionals with similar interests or career goals.

  1. Share the Wealth

Perhaps the most important part of networking is sharing the wealth. Think of ways to give back to those in your network by making introductions, sharing job postings, or even acting as a sounding board for those who want to share ideas with you.

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