10 Useful tips for effective networking

10 Useful tips for effective networking

The goal of networking is to expand your career opportunities, but when you’re surrounded by strangers that’s not always easy to do. You could meet a lot of people without it resulting in you getting anything, unless you know how to network. So, use these 10 useful tips for effective networking:

1. Come prepared and give your pitch.

Schedule things ahead of time, come on time and bring a resume complete with your contact information, or make business cards. Come prepared by making sure that your resume is up-to-date and error-free. Prepare your pitch too. This is your success story that should highlight your strengths and what you’re capable of. Show that you are passionate about what you do and come up with an interesting pitch to give.

2. Use social media.

Social media is a great way to get in touch with new people and maintain existing relationships. For networking, it’s best to use Linkedin, which is meant for networking anyway. However, you could also use Twitter. Whichever social media you choose to use, make sure that you’re active there, so connect with people and engage with their posts.

3. Pay attention to your online presence.

Your potential employer probably uses social media too, and they are likely to check your online presence before considering you for the job. So, make sure to set all your private information as private and do a search for your name to see what pops up. While there are some things that you don’t want your potential employer to see, make sure not to hide all your online activity. Create and maintain an online presence that could help you network and present yourself in the best light. Always make sure that everything is up-to-date.

4. Just have a conversation, don’t ask for a job.

One of the useful tips for effective networking is not to go there expecting to get a job or to connect with anyone who’ll be of use to you. Go there simply to have a meaningful conversation that might eventually result in a new career opportunity. While you’re obviously networking to get that opportunity, you shouldn’t make that obvious to the people you’re talking to. Networking comes with no promises, so don’t expect anything, and just make sure to present yourself well.

5. Follow up right afterward.

If you’ve met someone new at a meet-up or an event, follow up as soon as possible. Let them know that it was nice meeting them and suggest meeting for coffee and dinner to talk more if you want. Mention something from the conversation that you’ve had that you’d like to discuss further. Once you have your network, you should follow up with them at least three times a year to maintain contact.

10 Useful tips for effective networking

6. Help others and ask others for help.

Share useful information, and people will be more willing to give something back. If you want to find people who’ll be useful to you, be useful to other people. One of the useful tips for effective networking is to share information about the industry, job posts, or even interesting articles related to the field. It will give you an excuse to keep in touch with people and remind them of you and of the connection that you have. You should also ask others for help but never ask for too much. Ask for a person to see your resume and tell you how you could improve it, don’t give them a resume and ask for a job.

7. Leave a good first impression.

First impressions are everything, so do your best to be positive and helpful. Stand up when you introduce yourself, smile, and point to your name tag if you have one. Have a firm, confident handshake and an interesting pitch/success story. Make sure not to think about your end goals too much, just focus on leaving a great first impression on everyone you meet.

8. Don’t do all the talking.

No matter how interesting your story is, don’t do all the talking. Let the other person share things about themselves, and even encourage them to do so by asking open-ended questions. Be a good listener, especially when people are giving you the advice that you asked for.

9. Be polite.

Don’t forget to say please and thank you! One of the useful tips for effective networking is to always be polite. When someone helps you out, thank them and see if you could repay the favor somehow. Share the information that you think would be of use to them.

10. Time is money.

In the end, don’t take too long presenting yourself and engaging in a conversation. People know that time is money and if you take too much of their time they won’t be happy about it. So, know when to end a conversation and proceed to talk to the rest of the people at the event.