As a job seeker or working professional, your networking skills will be put to the test. In order for you to secure a job offer, or move up the career ladder, networking will often be a determining factor as to whether you are successful or not.
Without the ability to network and make useful contacts, whether at work, industry events, or social gatherings, you are essentially putting yourself at a disadvantage. You need to remember – the more influential and useful contacts you have in your network, the more likely it is that you will be referred or even recommended for a job!
The unprepared often panic
Unfortunately, even the way you network has to be practiced to perfection. You may be sick and tired of ‘practicing’ your interview skills, but networking is just as important and so it should be taken just as seriously. You need to practice your topics of conversation and prepare an ‘elevator’ speech to effectively sell yourself in a positive and highly employable manner.
But what happens when you are completely caught off guard? You are at your cousins birthday bash and the manager from your dream company is there also – how do you react? You are a little tipsy by this point and cannot for the life of you remember your ‘elevator speech’. When situations like this arise, you need to grab the networking opportunity with both hands and not be put off by being unprepared. There are however, certain topics of conversation that must always be avoided.
Check out these conversations killers all job seekers should dodge
#1 How is your wife?
Whilst you may have been told by someone, once upon a time, that the manager has a wife – never assume this is still the case! His wife may have just run off with the postman and you have just brought it up at a party – not a good move for any job seeker trying to secure a top job.
Stay away from personal topics, even if you are at a party together.
#2 I heard about the guy you fired last week, so I suppose you have a job to fill now?
Never comment on things that the manager may have done which could reflect negatively on either him, or the company. It is also very brazen, to ask for a job on the cuff of another person losing their job. Never out rightly ask for a job when networking. The purpose of networking is simply to highlight your skills and employability to those who could potentially get you a job!
#3 Do you fancy getting a drink next week?
Whilst you may want to make the conversation more ‘informal’ because you are in a ‘party’ atmosphere, getting too overly familiar could frighten the manger away. Once you have spoken with the manager, if he believes you are employable and a good fit for his company, he will definitely request to see you again. A good way of making sure the manager remembers you is to take your contact/business cards with you – even to a party!