With a tightening job market numerous job seekers have increased their networking endeavors with the hope of tapping into the hidden job market, where 70-80% of unadvertised opportunities are located.
While networking should be an integral part of your search (and overall career management) efforts there are some secrets which can make a significant difference between not really generating much success and the potential for networking burnout in comparison to building influential and productive relationships that open the doors to potential job opportunities.
To avoid networking burnout, ensure you’re adopting the top ten effective habits of highly successful networkers.
A highly successful networker:
1. Is clear on their job/industry target and can clearly articulate this when seeking support or communicating with members of their network.
2. Has a clear understanding of their personal brand, their unique selling proposition and can professionally communicate their brand both in person and in online networking opportunities.
3. Has up-to-date personal marketing material, (which can include professional resume, bio, leadership addendum, web portfolio, personal blog, and profiles on multiple social networking platforms) that highlights achievements and value offered to a potential employer.
4. Is able to speak confidently (not arrogantly) about their strengths and successes so that potential hirers are able to grasp the WIIFM (what’s in it for me – the company) should they be lucky enough to have you on their team.
5. Has a powerful and memorable ‘marketing pitch’ that can be utilised as an introduction to networking events and that question ‘So what is it that you do?’
6. Has a written strategic networking plan that encompasses regular attendance of both online and offline networking activities that allows them to continually expand and leverage a diverse personal network.
7. Utilises a network management system to effectively track their networking endeavours and important information about each member of their network.
8. Adopts a ‘giver’s gain’ approach regularly sharing relevant information with people in their network. They continually nurture their network as part of their long-term career management plan and not just when seeking new job opportunities.
9. Knows how to frame and deliver the right questions to whom they are speaking to enable ongoing expansion of their network or an opportunity to speak to a key decision maker.
10. Surrounds themselves with positive and supportive people who continue to strengthen and enhance the enthusiasm they portray during their job search activities. This is in complete contrast to being surrounded with nay-sayers who can seriously undermine your enthusiasm and ultimately your job search outcomes.
If you’ve ticked all ten areas, then congratulations – you’re a highly successful networker and are communicating your brand professionally and prominently in readiness for when that ideal job opportunity presents itself.
If, on the other hand you haven’t ticked all ten areas, then my suggestion would be to select, work on and integrate one new area each week into your networking plan so that you too can become a ‘star’ networker.
Annemarie Cross is a Career Coach & Personal Branding Strategist, a triple certified multi award-winning Professional Resume Writer, and author of ’10 key steps to Ace that Interview.’
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