5 tips for building relationships and networking when job searching
One of the best ways to find a job is to build relationships and networking. Here are some tips to help you.
You know how to network
You can network to help build relationships without being annoying or promoting yourself. To put it in simple terms networking is getting to know people. You network every day, whether it’s introducing yourself on the school run, the bus, or in the shop. Everyone you meet can potentially help you with your job search.
Networking isn’t a one-way street; it is also about helping others when you can. As humans, we are made to connect with others when we don’t it can make us lonely and even depressed. The goal will be to re-invigorate existing relations and create new ones.
1. You have more connections than you think
You probably don’t realize how many people you know that can help with your job search. Even if they can’t help, they may know someone who can. But you’ll never know if you don’t ask!
A great way to start is to make a list of your network. Go through your social media accounts, address book and write don names. Include everyone you know, family, friends, colleagues etc.
2. Reach out
Start connecting explain your situation and what you are looking for. Be specific and ask if they have any information or know anyone in the relevant area.
Knowing what you want before you start networking will help and take a lot of the stress away. It makes what you do more effective as you can be more specific. A Generic request for a job can be worse than no request. It can cause you to lose the network contact and opportunity. Being more specific when asking about opportunities will make your search more focused and relevant.
3. Build relationships
It is a give-and-take process, sharing information, asking questions and making connections. Building relations isn’t about getting a job, this helps but shouldn’t be your main goal. You don’t have to go cold calling or hand your business cards out on street corners, all you must do is reach out.
Be yourself. This should be your number one priority when you are looking for a job or networking. Hiding your true self, interests, or views can potentially come back on you in the long run. Pursuing what you want will be more fulfilling and successful.
Be Considerate. If you want to connect with an old friend, colleague or connection take your time. Before asking for help go through the catch-up phase, build that trust and friendship up first. Although, if it is a busy professional you don’t want to waste their time. In this instance, it will best to be upfront and honest about your request.
Ask for advice, not a job. You want your connections to become allies, asking them for a job can put pressure on them. Instead, ask for advice, information or insights instead. If they can help hire or refer, they will. It gives them the ability to help without putting them in an uncomfortable position.
4. Quality of your network
If your networking doesn’t seem to be going well, you should check the quality of it. Take time to think about strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of your own network. Without this, your networking won’t change or adapt to your future goals. History or certain connections can hold you back. In return can make you miss opportunities.
5. Maintain your network
This step is as important as building it. Getting new contact is great, but only if you can maintain and nurture the connections. The key is quality over quantity remember.
Schedule with your key contacts. Make a list of people who is essential to your network. People you know who will be useful and important to your progression.
Prioritize. Make a separate list of people to reconnect with. Add notes about their job, family, and interest it will allow you to assess their importance to you at the point.
Reciprocate. Remember networking isn’t a one-way street! Your goal is to create mutual beneficial relationships. Nurturing relationships gives you a strong network of people that can help with ideas, advice, feedback and support.
Check out our latest blog on 10 top tips: How to balance job search whilst employed
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