Ten Smart Networking Tips
Meg Montford, Executive Career Coach
networking is a major key to career success. Master it, and you
master your destiny. The following tips will help you become a pro:
If unemployed, print your own business cards
to use at networking events. Include your contact information with
your target market. Example: John Q. Smith, Sales Management.
Put your resume on the web with its
own web page. Most Internet service providers give you a free page
for personal use. Then, add your resume page's URL to your business
When you collect business cards, follow-up! Note on the back of
each card where you met the person and something noteworthy to help
you remember him. Schedule a time to meet for coffee to continue
building the relationship.
Consider networking as a process you do for the life of your career,
not just something to do between jobs. Continue to grow
your career by building and maintaining relationships.
When networking, offer first - take second.
Determine what value you can provide others before asking for their
help. This way you will leave a very favorable impression.
As an employee of "Brand Me, Inc.," act like
you're self-employed when you seek a new job. Market yourself
as your most important product.
For entrepreneurs, public speaking and publishing
are critical to building expertise in the public eye. For job seekers,
doing the same can attract attention to YOUR expertise, hopefully
leading to meetings with potential hiring authorities.
Remember that everyone you meet has the potential to lead you to
your target. Most people are only three degrees
removed from the person with whom they need to connect.
Networking gurus have polished 30-second commercials.
Practice your "elevator speech" so it sounds natural and conveys
the right message in a concise way.
As you network, be authentic. No one
likes a know-it-all any more than a wallflower. Be yourself and
be real. Above all else, remember your manners. Thank those who
Published in The Kansas City Star, Career Expo Special Section,
February 15, 2004)