Loads of people network during their job search, but very few are effective at such networking. Certainly, some are better at it than others, but in general, the majority of people not only dislike job search networking but also are simply not good at it. Based on a survey they conducted, Ivan R. Misner, Ph.D., and Don Morgan discovered several keys for successful job search networking.
- First, survey respondents said the most important part of being effective is to be timely with follow-up on referrals. Not following-up kills momentum-along with your personal credibility.
- Next, one must exhibit a positive attitude. A positive attitude attracts others like a magnet, which in turn fuels more energy into the process.
- One also has to exhibit passion, enthusiasm, and motivation. In fact, this one correlates with what employers say they want to see in applicants.
- The next trait that makes an effective networker is being viewed as having trustworthiness. People want to feel sure that when you refer someone to them, they can trust your judgment of the person.
- Effective listening skills are a must, because the faster you and your networking partner learn what you need to know about each other, the faster you’ll establish a worthwhile mutual relationship.
- Here’s something else: Be aware that job search networking can’t be approached like a hobby. It must be a full commitment to networking around the clock. Among great networkers, networking comes so naturally to them that they network in stores, on checkout lines, at professional offices, and everywhere else. They are continuously taking advantage of every opportunity presented to them.
- To markedly improve one’s networking effectiveness, one must exhibit gratitude. Unfortunately in today’s business world, the expression of gratitude is being neglected. Thanking others for their assistance is a great opportunity to immediately stand out from the crowd.
- Helping others should be an integral part of networking. We’ve all heard the saying “What goes around comes around,” and it’s true. A networker’s mind-set is focused on giving, because every time one gives, one gets in return. This is what makes natural networkers feel good.
- Effective networkers keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities to advance other people’s interests, and they do so with sincerity. Lack of authentic sincerity will show instantly. Displaying sincerity is easy: one need only give undivided attention to the person with whom one is developing a referral relationship. For instance, making eye contact shows sincere caring, and great networkers take this seriously.
- Some people devote a lot of effort and energy to the networking task; they are totally dedicated to working their network. They meticulously manage their contacts by using specialized software. They organize their e-mail address files and carry their referral list, ready to use it via, say, a smartphone. They are continuously looking to meet new people, they’re arranging appointments for getting better acquainted, and they’re learning as much about others as they can in order to become a genuine part of others’ networks.
If you take these recommendations to heart and follow them, your chances of landing the right job could be much greater than you think.
by Alex Freund