Interested in improving your networking skills? Here's how you can attract potential connections and resources to help you develop a strong network
18 August 2020| Last updated on 18 August 2020
Read our top tips for successful business working and landing your next job
Professional associations offer opportunities where you can meet with other professionals in your industry. These events are a great way to connect with people who might help you get a job at a company you admire.
However, the right way to use networking is not by dropping your resume with everyone you meet there the first chance you get. Nor is it by gathering email addresses and then inquiring about vacancies right away.
The right way is to build relationships. Here is how to do it:
1. Build a genuine relationship
When you go to events or even job fairs, find someone you click with and then build a genuine relationship. Don’t just contact them once in a blue moon when you need a job.
Rather, exchange LinkedIn and social media handles and comment on each other’s statuses. Try to stay connected via phone and WhatsApp.
Occasionally, meet for a coffee, lunch, or a birthday.
2. Try to mix topics
Talk about professional topics that shows your expertise in your job.
However, don’t focus on just work and career topics.
As you build trust, create a well-rounded relationship, talking about topics of mutual interest and sharing personal information.
3. Build offline relationships
The aim is to build a genuine friendship. Opportunities arise from such relationships.
Since in-person interactions are on the decline, building offline relationships is already something that needs to be done more, for a healthy existence.
4. Inquire and reference
After you have built a good friendship, you can then inquire about vacancies or referral.
It’s possible the other person may themselves tell you about an opening in your area of expertise. If you’ve seen a vacancy yourself and are applying, you could say something like "Hey, guess what, I’m applying for x vacancy that just opened up.”
Then during the conversation, ask if you can use their name as a reference.
5. Don't end the relationship there
In case the other person isn’t willing to help, don’t end the relationship because of it.
Continue to be good friends. After all, friendships shouldn’t be just to obtain favors.
Rather, enjoy the benefits of a real human interaction.
And who knows, sometimes in the future an opportunity may arise for you to assist one other.
Written by Kokab Rahman
Follow Kokab Rahman on Instagram at @classicdisplay
About the contributor:
Kokab Rahman is a business and career strategist and Founder of Radeya Global - Talent Development & Custom Business Solutions which provides personalized career services and business solutions. She is an expert on the topics of entrepreneurship, e-commerce, career, personal development, and finance, and has written numerous articles as well as the books Accounting for Beginners and The Handbook of Remote Work Opportunities, available from Amazon.
Kokab traveled to more than 12 countries and 50 cities and loves the travelpreneur - digital nomad lifestyle. Her career services have been helping clients achieve their goals and resulted in clients getting jobs at multinational corporations like Ernst & Young, JP Morgan, Marriott, Saudi Re, IPCO Germany GmbH, Crowe Mak, NHS, and Egmont Publishing.