Networking advice for job seekers image

Having a wide network of industry professionals can help you land coveted job positions. - 123RF

When it comes to job hunting, it’s all about who you know. So, how does one network effectively? Here’s some advice.

Do your homework before going to a networking event. Look up the event, the guests of honour and the attendees and do a little research (with the help of social media) on the people you’d like to meet.

Determine your needs and create realistic goals for the event. Prepare a little introduction speech that highlights your best qualities. And don’t forget to bring a bunch of business <QL>cards.

During the event, adopt a positive attitude and go meet people. Approach them by asking yourself how you can help them, rather than seeing what you can gain from them. To this end, ask them about themselves first, with pertinent questions about their field and their needs. However, take care not to monopolize them — keep your conversations around 15 minutes. Afterwards, make notes on business cards to help you remember the people, their needs and the event where you met them.

Afterward follow up, ideally starting the next day. Send out an email thanking the people you talked to and use their needs as an excuse when you can.

For example, if someone was looking for a good interior designer and you know one, send them their contact information.

Above all, stay in touch in order to maintain your network.

Share an interesting article or a job offer, invite the person to other networking events and find other ways to be helpful.

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