How To Network For a Job: 12 Professional Networking Tips

Want to know how to network for a job? Then you’re in the right place.

Having connections with people is sometimes more important than having knowledge, this is what networking is all about. It may seem daunting, but it’s just a way to meet and connect with people. Building genuine relationships will help your network grow gradually. Don’t hesitate to reach out to successful individuals to learn from them or ask for advice when looking for new opportunities.

How To Network For a Job:

1. Reach out to your personal contacts, like friends and family

They can help connect you to people they know and guide you in the right direction. Utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with them professionally. Reconnect with old friends and colleagues through online chats or by meeting up in person. By reconnecting with these people, you’ll have a strong foundation for networking.

The ultimate goal is to connect with others to offer your services and find new opportunities. Reaching out to people you already know can lead to introductions, recommendations and inside information about job openings. You can also reach out to people you know in specific fields and ask if they know of any job openings or opportunities.

2. Begin building your LinkedIn connections by adding people you know, then expand to those you share connections with.

For example, you could add an old colleague and then see that they work with someone in your desired field. Reach out to that person and introduce yourself, explaining your connection and expressing your interest in learning more about their work. Providing context for the connection will increase the likelihood of being accepted as a connection.

LinkedIn is a crucial tool in today’s job market, so make sure to have a profile and actively add connections. Additionally, LinkedIn allows you to connect with people regardless of geographic location, making it useful for remote work and travel.

3. Having a clear and concise introduction, often referred to as an “elevator pitch,” is important when networking.

This 30-second speech should include information about yourself, what you are looking for, and how you can help others. If you are changing career or searching for a new job, be sure to include a brief explanation in the pitch. This way, when people ask what you do or why you are there, you can provide them with a quick and effective answer.

4. Networking opportunities such as job fairs and professional events are a great way to expand your network.

Research online for events happening in your area. If you are a recent graduate, reach out to your alma mater’s career center for a list of job fairs. Attend as many events as you can, dress professionally, bring a stack of resumes or business cards and actively engage in conversation.

Depending on the event and your goals, you can hand out resumes, talk about your services or just casually connect with new people. To make the most out of the event, research the companies, speakers and attendees before attending, so you can have talking points to bring up in conversation.

If you’re just starting out, bring a friend, it’s always good to have someone to bounce ideas off of and people will assume you already have a professional connection.

SEE ALSO: How To Talk About Your Strengths And Weaknesses In An Interview

5. Acquiring business cards is an effective method for expanding your professional connections.

Never turn down the opportunity to receive a business card or contact information from someone, as they are open to a professional relationship. Even if you’re not in sales, you never know when you may need advice from someone in a different field or get information about job openings.

Keep all of your contacts in a rolodex or folder, and save them in your phone. The bigger your network is, the better. Diversify your contacts as much as possible. If you don’t have a business card, now is the time to get one. Your business card is often the first impression people have of you, so make sure it is professional and well-designed.

6. Reaching out to peers or coworkers and asking them for introductions can be an effective strategy for growing your professional network.

Your stronger connections can help you set up important meetings, such as with a CEO of a company you want to work for, or with a software team at a firm you’re interested in.

People are more likely to meet with you if you come recommended from a trusted source, this can also be a great way to network vertically and meet people who are higher up in the industry. You can ask your peers to introduce you over the phone, or for an email address to contact them. You could also ask your friends and close business contacts to recommend you for job openings or set up sales pitches.

7. Networking can involve forming connections with people who can help you advance in your career or business.

One way to do this is by getting in touch with people you already know, such as friends and family, and building on those relationships. Another way is to attend job fairs and professional events, where you can meet new contacts and hand out your resume or business card. You can also ask your current coworkers or peers to introduce you to people in their professional networks.

And, if you have a LinkedIn account (1), it’s a great way to connect with people online. The goal is to make genuine connections, so it’s important to play it cool and not push for business talk too soon. Instead, try to build a rapport with people first.

8. If you’re having trouble connecting with someone, asking open-ended questions can be a great way to keep the conversation going.

These types of questions, like “How has business been for you recently?” or “How did you get into financial consulting?” give the other person a chance to talk about themselves and can help show that you’re genuinely interested in them.

Additionally, asking questions can help you find common ground with the person you’re talking to. Even if the conversation isn’t work-related, you can ask about their holiday or their thoughts on the event you’re both attending.

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9. Find common ground with the people you meet.

Look for shared interests or experiences that can help you build a connection with them. For example, if you both enjoy a certain sports team, use that as a conversation starter. If you went to the same university, talk about your shared experiences there.

These small connections can make networking more enjoyable and help establish authentic relationships. Rather than just trying to find people who can help you, approach networking events as an opportunity to meet new people and make connections.

10. Make it clear that you’re willing to lend a hand.

Let people know that you’re open to helping them out in any way you can, whether it’s reviewing a business proposal or providing a discount on a service. Focus on how you can assist others rather than asking for help.

End conversations by making it clear that you’re always available to support them in the future. This leaves a lasting impression that you’re a valuable resource to others.

11. After meeting someone, reach out to them a few days later by email or phone.

Remind them of where you met and express your interest in getting to know them better in the future. This will make a lasting impression and increase the likelihood that they will remember you.

Follow through on any promises or commitments made during the initial meeting and include any relevant information or resources in the follow-up message. This will help solidify the connection you made.

12. Allow your professional connections to grow naturally.

Spend time with new colleagues and strike up casual conversations with new contacts. If you have common interests, like a shared love of football, suggest getting together to watch a game.

Building a strong network takes time and effort, but it’s important to not come across as overly pushy or only reaching out for job opportunities. Give each relationship space to develop (2) on its own. Not every person you meet will become your closest ally, so take things at a natural pace.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to network for a job. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here