3 Ways to Boost Your Networking Skills


By Manda Perkins Published on April 10, 2017

If you’ve ever been without a job, you know just how challenging and stressful the searching process can be, especially if you’re trying to break into a new field with little or no experience. This is where networking proves invaluable!

Along with enabling you to connect with others who have similar interests and goals, networking could be the single best way to discover opportunities that you may have otherwise never known about. With these three tips, you could boost your networking skills and succeed in finding the job of your dreams.

1.  Utilize Your Current Network

Make a list of all the people you know who could help you in your job search. This list should include people like friends and family, neighbors, coworkers, acquaintances, former colleagues, old bosses, club members, etc. Then think about the people you’ve met through these connections who could also be of assistance, like your friend’s husband or wife, your college roommate’s parents, and your neighbor’s boss or coworker.

Once you’ve got these people on your list, consider others who might be in the outer circles of your life, such as your dentist, doctor, landlord, gardener, gym trainer, etc.

This is your network. Chances are your list is significantly longer than you initially assumed it would be. Reach out to all these people, and let them know you’re on the hunt for a new job. Encourage those in your network to notify people in their network about what you’re looking for. The more people you can connect with, the greater your chances of finding a great job.

2.  Perfect Your Informal Interviewing Skills

Perhaps the most promising way to learn about job opportunities, occupations, and industries is to talk with individuals who are already working in the field. Whether you’re at a networking event or a casual house party, simply talking to those who are actively involved in your desired industry could give you a wealth of information that you can implement in your job search.

Ask for advice and information regarding the business, positions, and so forth. The more you know, the more prepared you’ll be when it comes to things like interviews or call-backs. Remember, however, that talking to people or informally interviewing them is simply to obtain information, not necessarily to land a job.

3.  Be a Master Relationship Builder

Networking is all about building relationships, helping others, and helping yourself. As with any relationship, you should give as much as you get. This means sharing information, asking questions, giving advice, and making meaningful connections. To build solid, reliable relationships in your network, you need to relate to others and reach out to ask for help or offer a helping hand.

When making connections and building relationships, remember these additional tips:

  • Be you. Don’t be afraid to show people the real you. Tell them about your goals, interests, and aspirations. Instead of trying to tell people what you think they want to hear, show them who you really are. It could pay off in the long run.
  • Consideration is key. Instead of immediately dumping your wants and needs on people you’re connecting with, be considerate by taking the time to show you care about them, too.
  • Blatantly asking people in your network for a job is both demanding and off-putting. Ask them for advice as to how you could land the job you want, and take what they say into careful consideration. This lets them know you’re interested without making them feel ambushed. Chances are if they can help you in any way, they will.
  • When it comes to reaching out to your network, be specific about what you’re looking for: reference, referral, introduction, industry advice, etc. Be sure to also include a bit about your experience and qualifications.

 

Are there any networking tips you’ve found successful? Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter!

California College San Diego accepts students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.The college does not guarantee a job. Gaining employment is the graduate’s responsibility.

The college does not guarantee a job. Gaining employment is the graduate’s responsibility.