If you’ve ever prescribed to the adage that it isn’t what you know but who you know, then you understand the power of networking. Establishing and maintaining professional relationships can be a key indicator for future success.
Understanding how to network is as important as knowing how to interview for a job. The right network can land you a job, make you an in-demand candidate, or a trusted source for professional information.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to network, continue reading for the basics.
1. Understand the Rules
There are two simple rules when it comes to networking. Here they are:
1. Never ask for an interview.
2. Never ask for a job.
While this may sound counterproductive, it’s important to understand networking is a long-game strategy. Rather than asking for an interview or a job, instead ask questions about the company, its culture, and other factors that can help you determine if you’re a good candidate.
Additionally, rather than asking, let your connections know you’re in the market for a new position. That will often prime the pump to lead towards a discussion about potential hirings within a company you’ve got your eye on.
2. Know Your Networking Style
No two people network in the same way. What works for your friend may not work for you. That means you need to identify your networking style. At the same time, some people are great face-to-face, others network behind the reigns of a keyboard.
It’s important to know which kind of networker you are. A great practice to see what type of networking style is right for you is to take a simple quiz.
Knowing your networking style can help you zero in on strategies for effective networking.
3. Use Social Media as a Networking Tool
Many people use social media for different reasons. One great way to use social networks is as a networking tool. Here are two great social networks to help you expand your reach and influence in your network:
LinkedIn can be a great way to network with other professionals in your industry. It can lead to masterminds, shared knowledge, tips, or even a new job. Your first initial correspondence should be about connecting only. Then, as you’re connected, start looking for ways to add value to your connections.
That way, when the time comes for help and support, they’ll remember the value you bring and talk you up, help out, or offer up a person in their network that can help.
Twitter can be an effective tool for networking. Following the companies you’re interested in is a great way to learn what the company is up to and knowing their broader initiatives. Additionally, you can use it to reach out to organizations and be top of mind when it comes to the hiring process.
Learn How to Network for Future Success
Learning how to network can be paramount to your future success. Following some of these tips can be helpful.