If you are a job seeker or someone who has been there, I am sure many people would have advised you to build a strong network. In fact, a study by LinkedIn states that up to 85% of jobs are filled via networking!
I am Swati Hirey, an established entrepreneur, and a Senior Coach at Job Boosts. With over two decades of successfully building companies globally and leading a recruitment consulting company that hires across 33 countries worldwide, I have worked with thousands of candidates, hundreds of recruiters and hiring managers. Using instances from my career, I can tell you effective networking will open new job opportunities, referrals and give you valuable market insights for your job search.
Most candidates know the importance of networking but don’t do it because it can feel overwhelming. But let me tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way. Ensure that you focus on the quality of the connections and not the quantity. So, today I will share three easy but effective ways you can take charge to build a powerful and efficient network for yourself.
1. Create & follow a schedule for networking
The important thing to remember when networking is to be consistent in setting aside time to interact with people & building a strong network. Creating content, commenting, liking, and sharing posts that benefit your connections online will get you noticed. The key is to be consistent. Schedule meetings with new contacts frequently. It can get overwhelming but remember the plan is to build a network that will benefit you in your long-term professional career. Reach out to people online. Set a target and ensure you are making new contacts every week or month. Candidates resist networking because they think it is time-consuming but that’s not entirely true. Remember to focus on the quality of the connection. Networking websites like LinkedIn and Twitter offer you easy ways to connect, meet and build relationships with your professional network.
2. Organize and Attend Networking Events
Organizing an event might sound intimidating but it’s not that difficult. Creating opportunities for your professional contacts over lunch or dinner can help you build a stronger network. If you are a career starter, attend networking events. Focus on building long-term relationships with people at the event. Here are ways you can do that:
- Research about the event and the speakers prior to the event.
- Reach out to them through email or post on their social media to let them know your excitement about hearing from them.
- Reach the venue early and prepare a list of questions that can help you approach the speakers. Make every opportunity count!
- Reach out and introduce yourself and ask them questions.
- Thank them for their time and mention you would like to stay in touch.
If you are organizing an event make sure your professional contacts have something in common. Your colleagues will credit you for new connections that benefit them and their business.
3. Create opportunities for others
When people say networking, it is possible that they talk about grabbing a coffee or going out for lunch together. It is a powerful approach but here’s something you should know. When you are a job seeker or a person exploring new opportunities, you don’t have to network with people one-on-one always. Instead, focus on how you could bring people together and introduce them to each other. Creating new opportunities for others will always work in your favour. You can organize or even host a lunch where you can introduce people. Or if a recruiter approaches you with an opportunity that does not interest you, suggest a contact who could benefit from it. This will not only create opportunities for them but also help build trust and a better network for you. They might think of you next time they meet someone who could benefit you or your business. As the saying goes, “Do good for others. It will come back in unexpected ways”
To sum up, building an efficient network is crucial for your professional success. It will open doors to opportunities and help you build a community of like-minded people. Make sure you create opportunities for others, organize and attend networking events. They are a great place to meet new people who are willing to create opportunities for you. Remember to be consistent. Create, share, and like content that can benefit you and your network. Make a schedule and stick to it. Follow these steps to build a strong and effective network. I wish you the best!