Whether you are looking for a job or want to take your career to the next level, ‘purposeful’ networking is important. Purposeful networking refers to networking with a clear goal in your mind. This means that you need to have a clear plan on how you are networking your way up to where you want to be.
If you have already built your 2015 career plan, then you have probably identified by now which steps will get you in the right track for your career, the fact which makes it a lot easier for you to network with a purpose. Aligning your networking efforts - through cultivating and managing relationships effectively, with your career aspirations can open the doors to new opportunities.
If you are still struggling, however, this article offers some ways to make networking help you achieve your career goals. Let’s go over the following four suggestions:
#1 Search for relevant companies
In order to be successful, you need to identify which industry or type of companies would be the best for you to work for. Depending on your needs, you need to think about how will it help you to hold a position in that specific company in terms of developing your skills and ultimately advance your career in the long run. Before taking the first step of introducing yourself, make sure you spend some time searching for companies that are going to give you the experience you need to move forward.
#2 Consider what makes you valuable
Determining what your key strengths are and getting to know what’s expected of you in terms of industry developments will help you promote yourself better when connecting with other professionals. Think about what can make you stand out from the crowd going over your work experience, knowledge and skills. When you are approaching others refer to the strengths that make you a valuable candidate and make them relevant to the needs of the company.
#3 Provide your contacts easy access to your resume
To ensure your contacts get the chance to decide whether you are the right candidate for the job, you need to provide them with easy access to your resume. If you don’t have an online resume or a LinkedIn profile to help you connect with them, you are hindering your chances of getting hired. Employers will want to see evidence of what you are talking about, so when networking you need to direct them online to get more information about you.
#4 Connect with people within your field
If you want to increase the chances of getting noticed by an employer, you need to connect with like-minded professionals within the same industry. This is the definition of networking with a purpose, since connecting with key professional in your field is more relevant - and at the same time more beneficial to your long-term career aspirations. In case you didn’t know, LinkedIn’s feature “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” can actually help you keep track of your networking efforts providing you with valuable information on your contacts’ and visitors’ background including the company they work for, their industry and country they are based in.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you improve your networking skills and construct a purposeful plan on how to take your career to the next level!
How are you planning to connect with key people from your industry? Let us know in the comment section below!