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Networking To Land Your Dream Job Now

Written by: Josef Stetter, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Josef Stetter

The best strategy to obtain recommendations is to engage in networking. Your ability to build buzz and interest in yourself and your qualifications may be aided by the presence of people you know in your network. Therefore, make great use of the resources available for communication.


Dream job. Divided road and decisions with road sign. Planning concept.

We readily recommend restaurants, movies, cosmetics, mechanics etc. Why wouldn’t someone recommend someone else for a job? Most people would rather hire someone whose done business with someone they know… most of us want some assurance that we will get our money’s worth. It’s a natural phenomenon that if you are good at what you do and can produce results word gets around and companies will want to hire people who can help their bottom line the most. Whether we have a good or bad experience, it’s human nature to tell others about the experiences we had; especially now in the world of social media and everyone recording things as they happen. It’s the way business used to be … when running a business meant serving a community of people you knew, trading with customers who were your friends and your friends’ friends. Getting referral business begins with the understanding that there are people out there who want your services or products as badly as you want to work for them Networking is about putting the two together.


Advantages of using networking for job finding


  1. Referred applicants/prospects are typically a much better prospect as they know the industry and the job functionality.

  2. The referred applicant already has a connection to the company or an inside track on what is needed to succeed in the position

  3. It results in more loyal applicants.

  4. Remains an employee longer

  5. The applicant is more trusting.

  6. It does not waste erroneous time on things like online job posting or advertising a position.

  7. Referrals make it easier because they help by breaking the ice and remove some of the fear and distrust associated with the unknown

  8. Referrals have already accepted you – you just must get them excited about what a great job you can do for them!

More and more networking is becoming a great resource for finding a job. There is plenty of opportunity for you to network in person and online.


Some ways to stand out include cracking a joke, making an obvious observation, use of vocal variety, pacing and tone, an interesting outfit like a funny tie, a great story, interesting facts, asking unique questions and more. Don’t be afraid to say something completely different than anyone else.


In person, make sure you have a lot of energy and confidence. Brand yourself through what you wear and what you say. Since I have always loved purple (I learned about color psychology), I always wear purple to any event I go to, so that when I follow up, I start by saying I am the gut that wore purple, had a purple bag, a purple business card. Many might not remember my name, but they will remember the color. Some ideas for branding for men: a hat (fedora style), a funny tie, a pin or tie clip, a watch, colored shoes anything that is a conversation starter and is memorable. Ladies there is a ton you can do to brand yourself given all the accessories in women’s fashion, this includes the above list and things like earrings, hair style or accessories, scarves, specific outfit that stands out and more.


However, there are certain frequent pitfalls that people experience when using networking to advance their careers. If you can avoid these mistakes, you'll give yourself a better shot at success. When searching for a new job, these are some of the most common blunders you should try to avoid:


  1. Being overly focused on what people can do for you is a poor approach to networking. Establishing connections that matter is essential. Don't appear as though you're only interested in what you can get out of the relationship. Instead, you should aim to foster partnerships that benefit both parties by providing value and assistance.

  2. Failure to prepare: Not knowing anything about the company or person you're meeting with can make you look uninterested and unprepared. Before reaching out, do your research on the individual, the company, and the field.

  3. Too much of a push or too much persistence might be off-putting. Building professional relationships should proceed slowly and courteously. Don't be overly insistent in your communication or in your requests to others.

  4. The failure to follow up after an initial meeting or chat. If you don't, you could come out as uninterested or forgettable. Thank them via email, keep in touch frequently, and tend to the relationship over time.

  5. Being excessively focused on one's own needs is a major networking faux pas. Don't make the talk all about you and what you want. Be attentive, show real interest in the other person's life and work, and ask thoughtful questions.

  6. Aimlessly mingling at networking events is a surefire way to waste time and energy. First, you need to establish your networking goals, such as landing a new job, getting helpful advice, or learning more about a particular field.

  7. Ignoring the importance of one's online presence is like neglecting an extension of one's own brand in the modern digital era. Keep your LinkedIn and other professional social media pages current and accurate representations of your abilities and interests.

  8. You only socialise when you have something to gain: Maintaining regular contact with others is the foundation of a successful networking strategy. Do not put off networking until you are desperately seeking employment. Build up your network gradually so that it can support you in times of crisis.

  9. Overlooking numerous networking opportunities: Don't limit your networking efforts to persons in your immediate sector or industry. Expanding your network to encompass varied ideas and backgrounds might lead to unexpected possibilities and fresh insights.

  10. Disregard for personal space and time It is essential to respect the personal space and time of others. If someone isn't feeling open, don't force them to make a connection or provide personal details. Never add someone to your network without first getting their permission.


Networking is most effective when it leads to genuine, mutually beneficial relationships. By avoiding these pitfalls, you can build a solid and useful network that will serve you well in the long run.


I go to a lot of networking events, and it never ceases to amaze me how clueless people are when they network. I have been to events where people ran around just collecting business cards, literally walking by and saying can I get your card with no conversation or listening and then sending me emails saying they got my card at the event and here is there resume can they get a job. Mumm no, I do not know you and you have not earned the right, especially when you don’t type the right name in the email. If you want a great example of how most networking looks like, click here.


One of the most memorable experiences that I had where people clearly did not know how to network was an event Networking for Nerds. I approached a group of 4 individuals who are standing together and politely introduced myself as a head-hunter/recruiter. Each one was a technical writer, which I acknowledge them and asked if they post samples of their writing on LinkedIn so that companies can know their writing styles and abilities. They immediately looked at me like deer and headlights and in the most derogatory tone said: NO, why would we do that, people can steal our work! I looked at them and said: You guys are here at an event called Networking for Nerds read the name again to drum up business (which is the wrong place to begin with as no one here is a decision maker) and instead of working the room you are talking to each other. Isn’t that counter productive to your purpose of being at this event? To which one of them responded in a very judgemental way: what makes you such an expert? At this point I reached a level of annoyance and said: Let’s see, I have been in recruiting for nearly 20 years, I have personally written over 10 books and 22 manuals sales, customer service, interviewing and HR, employee retention and other corporate topics for IT companies, insurance companies, Outplacement companies and recruited for companies like Tata Consulting Services, Deloitte, Apotex Pharmaceuticals and many other small to global companies as a generalist in recruitment and if that is not enough I have also personally helped over 9,000 (over 11,000 now) people land their dream job now in as little as 2 days. That is what makes me an expert! They quickly recoiled and apologized for giving such attitude and started asking what I meant by writing samples on LinkedIn. One of them even hired me as his coach to help him grow his business.


You want to make sure that what you have to say is of value and that you speak loudly and clearly enough to be heard. It is very important that what you say is remembered.


Tip: rather than talk about yourduties and responsibilities, focus your conversations on results you produced, the impact you make and have proof of what you say with measurables. For example: what you are proud of, your successes, your contributions, results you achieved that highlight why you are better than others in your line of work. Add money figures, percentages, time figures, inventory controls, mention policies and procedures you created, templates and macros you used, operational efficiency suggestions etc. Be specific. Use smart (specific measurable achievable relevant in time or simple, manageable, achievable, realistic, timely), star (situation, task, action, result) or aida (attention, information, desire, action) to formulate your answers and always apply kiss (keep it simple and short) when giving an answer.


Some great places to network in person include Toastmasters, The Project Management Institute (everyone who attends is a decision maker), City/Commerce Board of Trades, Industry recognized professional designations or associations events, country clubs, charitable events, career fairs, big events and more. Meetup and Eventbrite are great sources of information of gatherings that are relevant to your profession.


For online networking use: Facebook, LinkedIn, Zoominfo and Twitter.


Do not be afraid to ask for a recommendation and for help. Be humble when asking for help and emphasize you need help breaking into the industry/company.


Get people that are referring you to give you feedback on your resume or anything that might help you with the individual that you are being referred to. The more you know the better prepared you will be. Read up on interesting facts about their professional or other accomplishments. Do a Google search to try and have more to discuss with the person who is accepting you as a referral from someone.


Simply put Networking is a fantastic tool to land your dream job that is severely under utilized and can make the job finding experience faster and easer. I hope this helps. Feel free to connect with me to ask questions and learn more about the art and science of a great career, click here.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Josef Stetter Brainz Magazine
 

Josef Stetter, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

For nearly 20 years, Josef Stetter has incorporated humour, energy, passion and full self-expression into his personal and professional life.

  • Award Winning & International Best-Selling Author of 11 books.

  • Award Winning Speaker and Guinness World Record Participant

  • Did not know what I want to do when I grow up so switched careers 9 X and jobs 18 times

  • Work in Recruitment. Clients have included: Deloitte & Touche, Aecon Construction, Tata Consulting Services, Canon, Aviva, Skechers Shoes and more!

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