“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
This is a statement we have all probably heard before. Of course, it is so important to have a solid set of relevant skills, but networking can be what gets you in the door in this competitive job market.
So… where do you begin? Below are some tips that have helped me make a great impression:
1.Use social media to your advantage
Social media is a great way to get to know relevant contacts better and alleviates the pressure of a face to face meeting. LinkedIn is a great tool to expand your network. Connect with people you already know, people you want to know, and people you should know. Grow your network and do not be afraid to send professional messages introducing yourself… you never know where these relationships could lead to!
2. Build genuine personal connections
People want to feel like you’re genuinely interested in getting to know them. Inquire about their career journey and their goals. If meeting on Zoom, smile often and be aware of your body language. Don’t take over the conversation! The key to being a good conversationalist is being a good listener.
3. Ask questions
Be prepared with questions that will help you learn more about others, the company, and your future. Hold mutually interesting conversations by asking questions and sharing information about yourself when appropriate. Asking questions helps to show that you are engaged and interested in the conversation. Don’t be afraid to speak up!
4. Follow up
Remember to send a follow up email or LinkedIn connection request as soon as you can after meeting someone. It is important to maintain this connection so you can reach out in the future to ask additional questions, get career advice, or simply check in to see how they are. A little goes a long way!