Networking is one of the most underutilised tools when it comes to job searching. Over 70% of jobs aren’t advertised and are being identified through networking and proactive approaches. So have you considered networking to secure your next role? Here are some Networking tips to help you overcome your fears.
N – Networking. Don’t let the word ‘networking’ put you off. It’s simply a process of talking to and meeting people who might be useful to you in your job search in or in your career. It might help to see it more as a ‘meaningful chat’.
E – Everyone can network or have a ‘meaningful chat’ and it can be done anywhere. Any opportunity to speak to someone could be a potential networking opportunity. However, you need to consider who you want to talk to and why you want to talk to them? How do you think they will be able to help you and what do you want to gain from that conversation?
T – Three lists. Not everyone will be able to help you, but it would be useful to understand who your best contacts are by making a list of people you know and then separating them into 3 lists.
The first list of people is your ‘hot contacts’; these may be people who are in a position to arrange an interview or even offer you a job. They will be in a decision-making position and will be the most influential within your network of contacts. A ‘warm contact’ can give you information about future job vacancies or are knowledgeable about the industry that you are in, and may be able to help you with that next move. A ‘cool contact’ is someone who may have little influence but is still worth talking to. They may be able to put you in contact with other useful contacts or give you some general advice and guidance.
W – Work out who to contact first and what you want to say. Whether you are meeting for a coffee or having a conversation by the school gates, you want to plan the conversation before you approach your contact. Now you aren’t there to ask for a job, the aim is to gather information. You may find easier to start by asking for some advice. Everyone likes to be seen to be helpful so ask open questions and use this conversation to fact find. For example:
‘’ Emma Louise, you work for Renovo don’t you? I read on LinkedIn recently the company was going through a period of significant growth. I bet that’s keeping you busy. Do you know if Renovo are anticipating adding to the coaching team? If so, what recruitment agencies do you use as I am thinking about registering with a couple.”
O – Opportunities are attached to people. The more you talk to your network, the more knowledgeable you will become and the more information you will gain. Don’t limit yourself to speaking to professional contacts, consider people you meet socially for example at the gym, at a sporting event or even at church.
R – Rehearse and plan what you want to say by creating an ‘Elevator Pitch’. Practice your elevator pitch on your cool contacts to start building your confidence, and when you are feeling really positive, start approaching those hot contacts!
K – Know your target audience and adapt it to who you are talking to. By the end of the conversation they need to have a good understanding of who you are and what your background is so if an opportunity arises, they will immediately think of you.
I – Invite and connect on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great way to keep in contact with your connections and continue to grow your network. If you aren’t confident with face to face networking, start by networking online. You can ‘like’, ‘comment’ or ‘share’ posts on this platform, which will immediately increase your presence and professional background.
N – Network using ‘Groups’ on LinkedIn. Identify industry or function specific groups relevant to your professional experience. Follow companies and recruitment consultancies. They search for candidates on LinkedIn and any vacancies posted will appear on your home feed.
G – Grow your network. As your career develops, your network will too. Make sure you invest time in your network now, as you never know when you will need them next!
Renovo is the UK’s leading specialist provider of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org