9 Strategies for Boosting Your Network Abilities

What is one strategy to boost your networking abilities in a job search?

If you’re looking for networking or hiring events, the Pipeline AZ calendar is a great resource for you. Once you’re at an event, these tips will help improve your networking abilities. We asked business leaders and avid networkers for their best networking advice- from using a digital business card to personalization, here are several tips to boost your networking abilities and excel in your job search.

Here are nine strategies for boosting your networking abilities:

  1. Use Digital Business Cards
  2. Attend Events and Talk to People
  3. Participate in Professional Organizations
  4. Plant Saplings Before You Need Shade
  5. Connect the Dots
  6. Show Your Engagement
  7. Always Personalize
  8. Have Humor and a Business Card in Hand
  9. Start a Focused Follow Strategy

Use Digital Business Cards

Using a digital business card is an easy way to boost your networking skills in a job search. When setting up your card, you can link whichever accounts you choose to the card, including LinkedIn, email, website, and several other social or online profiles. New contacts can gather all of this information, along with the basics such as your name, position and phone number, by scanning the code on the card with a smartphone. This approach allows you to share all of your information with acquaintances instantly instead of making contacts manually meet and friend or follow you on multiple platforms.

Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

Attend Events and Talk to People

Industry events or conferences are a great source to boost your networking abilities. Whether you attend in-person or virtual events, you must first do your research. Prior to the event, find out which companies are attending, the titles of the people attending, search for open positions within these companies, update your CV to match these open positions. During the event, reach out to the people from the companies you’d like to work at and try to set up a  short 10 -15 minute meeting to find out more about their open positions. A good tip is to add them to LinkedIn right after your meeting to keep your connection longer.

Jessica Ulloa, MyPerfectResume

Participate in Professional Organizations

I believe that joining professional groups is an excellent way to network and expand your skill set. Search engines can help you find groups that are appealing to you and align with your networking goals. Consider organizations that are oriented around where you are in your career and where you want to go.

Edward Mellett, Wikijob

Plant Saplings Before You Need Shade

Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen talked about how important it is to build your network before you need it. He stated that trying to build a network when you need a job is like planting a sapling when you need shade. Make sure you’re always thinking about and building your network – the best way to do it is to be generous and prioritize helping others. That will increase the impact of your personal network when you’re eventually in need.

Logan Mallory, Motivosity

Connect the Dots

The power of networking remains strong, even in this economy. Often, job seekers assume that everyone knows their career story. (Remember the many lessons about assumptions).

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can help you gain insight on a company you’re interested in. If you find you have connections currently working at the company you’re interested in, reach out!

Be prepared if these connections reply and be ready with a series of questions. Networking with a current employee at an organization is insightful before an interview. You can garner incredible insight into the organization and the actual division.  This is your time to take the lead, after you have done your homework on the organization and the opportunity. This encounter must make a strong impression. Often, candidates ask general questions like, “what is the work culture?”  Make the best use of everyone’s time and ask great questions related to the role.

Diane Fennig, The Gallagher Group – Executive Search & Leadership Advisors

Show Your Engagement

When looking for a job, it’s crucial to show your potential employer that you’re actively looking for new approaches to develop your career and network with people from your field. Let’s say that you’re a mentor to one of your employees. It’s essential to communicate it to the recruiters and let them know what benefits it brings to your career development. Being a mentor shows that you want to share your experience and knowledge with others and are eager to go the extra mile to connect with different people.

My advice is to also engage in various communities and LinkedIn groups to highlight that expanding your knowledge and networking is vital for your professional development. Such an approach will positively impact your job search and make a great impression on your potential employer.

Peter Bryla, Zety

Always Personalize

When networking, it is necessary to show the other person that you genuinely want to form a professional relationship with them. Rather than focusing on how someone can benefit you, determine what value you would bring to the table. When reaching out to someone online, personalize your message. Provide specific details that are unique to the person to convey your interest in networking with them.

Benjamin Farber, Bristol Associates, Inc.

Have Humor and a Business Card in Hand

Maintain a positive attitude and use your sense of humor. You’ll notice that people who have a friendly, cheerful disposition are more approachable than those who don’t. A great strategy to boost your networking abilities is to start a conversation with some humor to break the ice, establish rapport with your audience, and make you instantly more likable and memorable. As a backup strategy, make sure you hand out your business card so that people have your contact details readily available when they want to offer you that job you deserve.

Archie Payne, Caltek Staffing

Start a Focused Follow Strategy

Follow economic development websites and social media pages for the area you live in or target areas where you would like to work.  Candidates will learn about new business moving into the area, expansions, and see the contacts associated with these initiatives.  When you are trying to build a network, mentioning a specific press release or interview you saw highlights you as an informed and interested candidate.  Knowing the movements in the market where you are working or want to work is good business.,

Laura OConnell, PATH HR CO

Find a list of job fairs and other networking events to help jump start your career here.

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