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3 Networking Success Tips

Posted by Patra Frame

You can hardly open your browser or a business publication without seeing something about networking. Why? Studies show regular networkers are more successful in business and in life. True for introverts and extroverts incidentally.

Tip 1. Learn how to network

Don’t bother with random events or big ‘networking’ ones. Think about what you want to get from your networking efforts and how they relate to your job search and future success. Look at what you have done in the past. What has been most effective? Less so? What else do you need to do? Where and how?

Here is a ‘cheat sheet’ of categories – build your list from it
* Professional groups’ meetings – such as: national/local groups in your chosen field, chambers of commerce, job clubs, veteran or alumni groups.
* Individual meetings – specific people in your field and outside it
* Developmental events – seminars, conferences, courses in your field
* Reconnect – with people you value but have not connected with lately
* Online aids – LinkedIn, MeetUp, etc.

Tip 2. Define your goals

Don’t just go to events or have coffee with friends and call it networking. Define what you need, what you offer, and what you will do in fairly specific terms. Numbers alone are not worth much.

Consider:
* What do you want to learn from each contact? What will you share about yourself?
* What help do you want – such as: company info, references, referrals?
* Who do you know you might introduce to others?
* Who will you ask for introductions and to whom?

Tip 3. Make it Easy

Never go to an event without a plan. It could be to meet specific people or to learn something specific in talking with many people there. Attending a Cleared Job Fair? Remember to talk with others there about the market, specific companies that interest you, and other things you want to know

Have a goal when you meet with an individual or small group too. What do you want out of the meeting? What are you offering in return?

Keep going! Networking builds on itself.
You need to find ways to maintain your network consistently over time, to give back to it too. Pick a process, make a plan and execute it for your success in 2014.

Patra Frame is ClearedJobs.Net’s HR Specialist. She is an experienced human resources executive and founder of Strategies for Human Resources. Patra is an Air Force veteran and charter member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 06, 2014 10:07 am

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