Who would have thought that socialising could be one of the most successful methods of job seeking? Networking has become a crucial aspect of business development, whether it is for sharing information or gaining professional contacts. So how can networking help you and your job search?
If you are seeking a new job and the idea of ‘networking’ seems terrifying or even slightly pushy, you must think of it from the other side of the spectrum. Networking is used across all professional levels and is particularly used as a method of recruiting so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
Preparation is extremely important when you are going to a networking event or planning on getting in touch with new connections. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you are looking for or if you have any particular career goals that you want to work towards. This can help you to find out which individuals stand out for potential career opportunities and advice. Use LinkedIn as a way of connecting and gaining crucial information about individuals prior to making contact.
It is important to remember that networking can occur at any stage of your job search or in many different scenarios. Any social situation can be a networking opportunity, whether you are at a drinks party, out for dinner with friends or even simply sat next to someone on a bus, there is always an opportunity to get talking!
Confidence is an absolute must in order to appear professional and savvy. Being charismatic and asking for advice is the best way to make a potential contact interested and aware of your ability without being pushy. Try to eliminate any initial nerves that might get in the way; you can treat networking as a two way process of building relationships. Asking for guidance will show that you require their help rather than putting any pressure on the individual to find you a job. Communication is key, networking is not a business meeting or a sales pitch; you must be yourself and be natural with your approach.
Keeping in contact is a key way to ensure any connections you have made don’t forget you! If you are providing them with your business card, remember to take one of theirs too. This secures the new relationship giving you control and stops it being one sided. Make sure to follow up, obviously don’t be too persistent but an email or a phone call to keep up to date will show your interest. Social media is a great way to continue networking and to keep in touch with new connections.
Bain and Gray are a London based boutique secretarial and PA recruitment agency. Recruiting across all industry sectors, the primary aim of Bain and Gray is to deliver exceptional talent in the executive support market.