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> Top 10 Tactics to Use to Network Your Way to a New Job!

Top 10 Tactics to Use to Network Your Way to a New Job!

Date Posted Apr 30, 2007  Default   Viewed 4266 Times       ID 195
For more than 25 years, job search experts have been advocating networking strategies to tap the hidden job market to find the best jobs. Job seekers who try this alternative to answering ads or contacting recruiters often experience disappointing results and give up before they've really begun networking in earnest. Networking is both an art and a science. Use these tactics and use them well to find the job you want:

Top 10:

1. Be a name dropper. If you are interested in gaining entrée to a person at a company you've targeted, be sure to find someone who will pave the way for you. We know a true story of a man who had his sights on a growing telecommunications company. When he saw them advertise the job of his dreams, he tapped his contact network for someone who would hand deliver his resume to the hiring manager. He beat out those even well qualified in the stack of resumes piled on the manager's desk. "Why should I waste my time digging through these credentials when I have the perfect candidate in front of me?" the employer asked.

2. Plan for your meetings. Do your homework. Find out all you can about the company, the industry, the person who has agreed to give you 20 - 30 minutes of his time. Consider what you want out of the meeting. Are you there to brainstorm about how someone with your background could add value to this organization or others in the field? Would you like to come away from the meeting with new companies or industries to target? Are you looking for referrals to other people in that same company? In the community?

3. Show the right stuff. Look for ways to show how your mind works rather than just telling about your past or your future plans. Try to get the conversation focused on problems that need solving, unmet needs that must be addressed. Demonstrate there in the meeting the value you could add. This could help you be seen as a potential hire or make you more appealing as someone to refer on to other colleagues.

4. Gift your networking companion. "Pay the person back" for his or her time. Is there something you can give back in exchange, so that the person can actually be grateful the meeting took place? Is there information you have that would help this person excel on the job? Something to enrich his or her life?

5. Mark your spot on the Job Development Timeline. Some people are reluctant to visit a company unless there is an actual job opening advertised. But jobs don't develop out of thin air. Long before a job description is created there is a mountain of work that's not getting done. If you step into the picture early enough in the process, there will be no need to advertise a job opening. You'll be the sole candidate considered. This is especially true of small to medium companies. And that's where all the job growth occurs today anyway!

6. Commit to meeting two people a day. The more visible you are, the more job opportunities will come to your attention. Set up meetings with friends, industry leaders, referrals or potential employers. Two people a day would mean 10 a week, 40 a month. The more actively involved you become with this process the better your chances of landing the job you want. And remember, while face-to-face meetings have great power, it is also possible to conduct your meetings via phone and email, especially if you are trying to relocate.

7. Ask powerful questions. Truly engage your networking partner. Wow him or her with questions that show what you know. Don't do all the talking. Spend a considerable amount of time listening carefully. Each meeting you have could be seen as a tennis game, with you taking your turn serving and receiving.

8. Look the part. Shakespeare said, "all the world's a stage." Take note of what people in your industry or level of achievement are wearing and dress appropriately. Be sure your clothes are spotless and fray less and fit you well. Don't smell of cigarette smoke or heavy perfume or cologne. Get a manicure. Wash behind your ears.

9. Find reasons to return. We know a man who targeted a large company and networked with 21 different people within the organization until he was hired. After your networking meeting, be sure to at the very least write a thank you letter. Ask the other person if they would like you to keep them updated periodically on your job search efforts. If this is the company of your dreams, consider writing and sending a proposal that addresses the needs you believe you could meet to improve the bottom line.

10. Don't expect a marriage proposal on the first date. Networking can well be compared to dating. After all, this is the first time you and your companion have met. Don't think of your meeting as a failure if you leave without a job offer. After all, your purpose in being there was information exchange. Relationships occur over time. Keep this person's name in your tickler file and become creative about additional reasons to meet - if there is more information to gain here or you think the situation could ultimately lead to a job. Demonstrate your enthusiasm, but don't kill your chances by seeming too hungry or needy.

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