Career Coach and Author Ford R. Myers Shares 15 Ways Job Seekers Can Achieve Career Success Through Leveraging Relationships and Maximizing Person-to-Person Networking Opportunities.
During good economic times and bad, the number one way to get hired is through networking. Networking is not about “schmoozing,” or selling someone on the idea of hiring you. Rather, it’s about purposefully and gracefully asking peers for help, advice, input and contacts — and offering value in return. “Networking makes most people feel good about themselves. It boosts their self-esteem to connect people with opportunities — especially when those opportunities are hard to come by — and makes them feel important,” says Ford R. Myers, career coach, speaker and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring” (John Wiley & Sons, http://www.getthejobbook.com). Myers suggests the following 15 ways job seekers can maximize career networking in a tight job market:
1. Schedule face-to-face meetings with your top tier contact list — people who believe in you, understand your value, and are in the best position to help you.
2. Schedule phone meetings with other people who might lead you to key industry influencers.
3. Get at least 3-5 names from each person with whom you speak.
4. Keep the first phone conversation very brief — no more than 5-7 minutes.
5. Be confident and purposeful.
6. Send your Target Company List (a well-researched wish list of firms you’d like to work for) and Professional Biography (a one-page narrative of your career) immediately after the first conversation.
7. Bring a prepared list of questions and ask if it’s okay to jot down notes as you talk.
8. Establish good rapport by getting the other person to talk about himself/herself.
9. If you ask for 20 minutes, keep the meeting to 20 minutes.
10. Follow up shortly after the meeting for feedback, more contact names, information and guidance.
11. Ask if you may use your contact’s name when calling people to whom they refer you.
12. Don’t use the words “job” or “fired.” Keep the conversation positive and focus on the future, not the past.
13. Don’t make excuses or sound apologetic.
14. Come from generosity — look for opportunities to offer something of value in return.
15. Always send a thank you note immediately after your networking meeting. “When done properly, at the end of every networking conversation, the other person should feel genuinely glad you contacted them and feel enriched by the experience. Networking always pays big dividends in the long run,” adds Myers. For more information and other useful tips for achieving career success, visit http://www.getthejobbook.com.