Not too long ago I saw a job that called my name. I knew immediately that I was ready to fire all weapons and empty the arsenal to go after the position. I applied online. I scoured LinkedIn and found someone on the inside who could get my resume to the right people. Within a few days I was on the phone with the recruiter. A week later I went in and met with a couple more people.
Somewhere in the process I got an auto-generated rejection letter from the website. Clearly, the two sides do not compute. The process is still underway and I am still in the running.
This situation perfectly illustrates the absolute necessity of networking as a key pillar of your job search. The website shut me down, but I knew someone who knew someone who knew the right person. It was only through relationships that I even got a shot at the job. If you are relying solely on applying to jobs through websites you are missing a huge piece of the strategy required to find your next job.
Yes, it's about shaking hands, business cards and a smile, but it's mostly about connection. It involves both maintaining the relationships with the people you already know and establishing them with people you've just met. It can happen in person, on social media, via emails or even phone calls. It starts with hello and evolves from there.
Here are five great articles that will get you well on your way to networking like a pro. And remember, almost everyone wants to make connections and they are just as nervous as you are.
9 Tips For Working A Room From A Networking Pro
Let's start with the basics. Do you know how to work a room? How do you walk into a conversation? Business Insider calls upon a networking master who breaks it down into nine easy pointers that will up your game right away. From the big things to the finest details, they've got your next professional event covered. And remember to bring breath mints!
Did You Know That Simply Making People Feel Welcome Can Grow Your Network?
Two networking masters, Dr. Ivan Misner and Paul Lomas get together on video and share a simple piece of timeless advice on the Business Networking site. If you make guests and newcomers feel welcome at conferences and networking events the goodwill generated will result in genuine connections. Watch the video and learn from the pros.
Where Did We Go Right? Three Surprisingly Simple Ways to Bulletproof Your Career
We live in uncertain times and the job market is tough. Be prepared for anything and you will survive layoffs, firings or restructurings better than most. JobDig has three great tips to help you launch your job search quickly if the worst should happen. What are the two most important? Keeping your network active and expanding that network. It's almost always the people you know who will help you find the next opportunity.
Networking: The Path To Becoming A Brand Ambassador
For those of you who absolutely refuse to attend networking events there is still hope. Forbes has the story of one man's successful networking and job search strategy that relies almost solely on content creation and social media. Plus, they outline how you can do it too! Embrace the strategy. employ the tactics and you could network virtually into the next big thing.
How to Ask for an Informational Interview (and Get a "Yes")
One often-overlooked piece of networking strategy is the informational interview. Plus, it's part job interview, so you get double the results if you do it right. The Daily Muse outlines the best practices in finding the right informational opportunities and then breaks down five steps in perfecting the art of the ask.
What's your networking strategy? I would love to hear how you meet new people and maintain relationships down below in comments. I hope you got a few pointers from the above stories and make some new connections in the days ahead. See you next week!