Inside AF Mobile

Make Networking Work for You

October 8, 2014 02:45 AM
0913 If you’re looking for a job, you’ve probably been advised to network. But, it can be hard to know how to start, especially if you’re introverted or shy about asking others for help. Follow these tips to help you become more comfortable with networking.
  • People usually want to help others. Most people really do like helping others and will be happy to help you in your job search if you just ask. What’s the worst that could happen? They could say no, and you’ll be right where you are now.
  • Use social media, email and text messages (but not all at once to the same person!). If you’re shy in person, try reaching out electronically. There are so many ways to reach people today that you have no excuse. Just be careful not to bombard people and make sure you tailor your messages.
  • Give them direction. You’ll get a better response when you tell people exactly what you need. Be specific. Rather than asking people to share any openings they know about, say you’re looking for something in marketing/communications and that you have five years of experience. Mention that you’re contacting them because they know Joe Smith at a company where you’re interesting in working or because you know they have a lot of contacts in a certain field. If you’re asking for a reference, give them a few examples of what you’d like them to highlight.
  • Ask for people to contact. Maybe the person you contacted doesn’t know of any openings, but they might know someone who does. Ask them if they have any recommendations on other people to contact. Then when you contact those people, you’ll be able to say that your mutual friend recommended you contact them and it will give you a foot in the door somewhere else.
  • Return the favor. When someone does help you, make sure to return the favor. Ask if there’s anything you can do for them.
For more tips for your job search, check out these five strategies and see how to use LinkedIn to help you land a new job. Have any of your own networking success stories? Share in the comments!

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