professional networking tips

professional networking tips

Overcome these five stumbling blocks to successful networking and supercharge your career and your,business,
professional networking tips

How many times have we all heard the phrase, "It's not what you know, but who you know?" When you're looking for a job, having a diverse and well-maintained professional network can make a distinct difference in the results of your search.

Use Social Media

Whether you're fresh out of college or nearing retirement, social media should be a tool in your networking portfolio. Most professionals prefer LinkedIn, but Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are also popular social media sites that you should explore. Whether you pick just one or opt to go with several social media avenues, be sure to have a complete profile and genuinely interact with your network. If you are looking to add to your network via social media, start joining groups that interest you or are related to your profession and interact with the group members.

Remember Everyday Opportunities

Many people forget that social media is not the only way to network. Focus your efforts on both online connections and offline connections. Strengthen your relationship with your friends and co-workers by going out to lunch and getting to know them as people. Networking is about more than making business connections; it's about making personal connections and being able to help other people with their problems, not just to have them help with yours.

Networking Events

Professional events are another way to boost your networking power, but be careful. These events are not just about seeing how many people you can give your business card to; they are about making genuine connections with people. Stop and have a conversation with the people you do meet, and follow up with them after the event. Write a few things about them and your conversation on the back of their business card so you remember who they are and what was said during your conversation.

Everyone Has Value

When you are trying to improve your network, remember that everyone has value of some kind, even if it's not value that directly relates to you at the moment. Be polite, kind, and interested in anyone with whom you interact with. Even if you are not interested in pursuing a connection with someone, stay professional and realize that they may help you one day.

Apply for a Position With a Staffing Agency

Few people realize that staffing agencies already have professional networks built up from their years of experience in the field and their extensive corporate contacts. When you apply for a position with an agency, the agency's recruiters will have access to your information on hand when jobs come up that you might qualify for. Since most people are networking out of hopes of finding a new position, having your information attached to a network like a staffing agency may give you the results that person-to-person networking might not.

There is no doubt that networking is one of the most essential tools for any professional to have. By following these tips, you may be able to increase your professional network and be more successful in the long run.

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