A Better Network
If your plans for 2014 include trying to land a new job or a promotion, or receive a glowing recommendation from a former co-worker or manager, having a solid professional network would be key.
Forging the right professional relationships can win the day with a better network and certainly get you noticed in ways that a well-crafted resume or cover letter might not. And while networking can seem daunting, seeking out those who can boost your professional reputation could make all the difference in the world— especially as the nation’s economy and job market continue to recover at a snail’s pace.
Networking with who you know, who knows you and what they believe to know about you has always been a key variable to social, political and business success. The principle hasn’t changed but how we network in today’s world has changed exponentially with the growth of the Internet, email, and now social media.
Companies are increasingly turning to the Internet for recruitment purposes, whether via Facebook, LinkedIn or even Google+. While maintaining a professional online profile is essential, these sites should be seen simply as a door-opener to making a quality connection with your desired arena.
Online networking not only allows job seekers to connect with more people, but with far less personal connection. In other words, it’s far too easy to simply get lost in the day to day shuffle trying to network solely via the Internet.
Face-to-face networking is still the most important objective for job seekers simply because their resumes often fail to speak for themselves and many have yet to develop a personal brand that explains why they should be hired and what they can offer for the company. So having an experienced, well-known, credible professional vouch for your skills, attributes, accomplishments and demeanor is so much more effective and credible than numbers.
A Better Network
The process of recruiting, interviewing and evaluating prospective employees is often expensive and complicated for companies looking to hire. You can use this to your advantage by working hard to educate friends and colleagues about your career goals and asking them to introduce you to people at companies where you would most like to work.
Those you already know and trust will be your strongest allies, and generally more willing to go out of their way to help you, whether it’s to review your resume, spread the word or simply make an introduction.
In fact some of the best networking opportunities can take place during everyday activities – while volunteering, out to dinner with friends, or even at a child’s soccer game. Maximizing your time and recognizing a golden opportunity to make a connection can add a whole new dimension to your job search and could be the key to your success.
To improve your chances of success, set up your ground game early and start connecting with people already in your network.
Opportunity seekers should always be prepared to go over their accomplishments and discuss the type of work they are qualified to do. They should also have questions ready ahead of time about the types of companies or jobs they are looking for.
A major mistake in networking, job seeking or career building is not having a personal brand and a personal brand value statement – articulating who you are, what you have done and how you can help an organization. This helps answers such questions as: Tell me about yourself, and why should I hire you?
A Better Network
Many people focus on ramping up their networking efforts only when they are on the job hunt, and once secure in a new job, don’t stay in touch with those in their network, to then find the need in starting all over again the next time they are looking for work or reaching for a promotion. Instead of creating a stop-and-go networking process, work at maintaining those networking relationships regardless of your employment situation.
The reality is you never know who holds the key, or knows the person, who may be the most helpful in accomplishing your next set of career goals.
We live in very exciting times win the day with a better network where the only limit to your potential…is you!