Explaining the power of networking
Maybe you’ve already attended a few networking events with other professionals in your industry and aren’t sure what the benefit is or how it can help you land that new job. Studies have shown that the power of networking is unparalleled; 85% of all jobs are filled via networking and not through applications or interviews.
Follow these networking tips to help see why it’s not just what you know but who you know.
Evaluate your existing contacts
Without realizing it, you’ve likely built a network of people just by adding to the address book in your cell phone or connecting with people on Facebook and LinkedIn. Evaluate your existing network and see if there is someone from your past that could be a relevant contact within your industry.
Contacting old friends or coworkers is a more comfortable and natural way to initiate conversation about your career or job search. Candidates find success in networking with existing contacts because they’ve already established a relationship with the individual, meaning that they are most likely to be willing to help you find a new career or become a mentor.
Once you’re at a networking event, it can be nerve-wracking to string together a perfect elevator pitch to deliver about your background. Rather than having it come off as a rehearsed sales pitch, you should make it as conversational as possible.
One of the most authentic and simple ways to both relay your personality and brand yourself as a worthy hire during networking events, is to tell personal stories. Pick a few interesting anecdotes from your life and share any lessons you may have learned from the experiences. Potential employers are more likely to remember you if you tell a genuine and interesting story instead of something that feels disingenuousness.
A networking tip that might not be obvious is to network by volunteering. Volunteering has an added value of improving your community and the lives of the individuals in it. You will get exposure to a vast array of members in your community, like business leaders or influencers, who can be great additions to your network, all while dedicating your time to a worthy cause.
By meeting more members in your community, you’re more likely to be in touch with the needs within the community, as well as connect with individuals who have personal relationships with local employers. The more people you develop relationships with, the more likely you are to find one who can help you to get your foot in the door with a company.