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The art of networking when looking for a job

Are you looking for a job? Networking can definitely work in your favour! Developing ties with people in your professional and personal networks will increase your chances of finding the ideal job. Below are a few tips on how to refine your technique:

Build a network
Building a network often begins by participating in activities of all kinds. Happy hours, for example, are an excellent opportunity to meet new people. Attending symposiums, training courses, conferences, benefits and business luncheons are all activities that will enable you to socialize with professionals in your field. Do not underestimate any event! Family reunions, sporting events, parties and dinners with friends are all excellent opportunities to meet some new people through the ones you already know.

Take advantage of social media
You can count on the multitude of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to widen your network. LinkedIn is indisputably the preferred spot to connect with professionals in your field. Add people you’ve talked to at events or evenings to your list of connections. That way, you can take a look at their professional pedigree and access their own list of connections.

Have the right attitude
Attend work-related social events as much as possible. Ideally, take someone with you who is very familiar with the field. That way it will be easier to break the ice. Proceed in phases. Start by talking to the people you know and then venture out into unknown territory. By leaving your comfort zone, you will gain confidence and may even meet some interesting people. Pay specific attention to non-verbal signs. Know how to recognize the conversations that seem closed and those that seem more open.

Be ready
Always have a few business cards with you. You never know when you will need them! If you want to stay in touch with a person you meet at an activity or a corporate event, ask for his or her business card before offering yours. You will make a better impression that way. Keep in mind that handing out just one business card to someone at the end of a lengthy conversation is worth more than handing a bunch of them out randomly.

Keep up with your network
The key to networking is to continuously keep up with your circle of acquaintances. Life has its share of surprises, and you may need these acquaintances sooner than you think. Think about diversifying your network too. Making contact with professionals outside of your field could open doors for you to new job prospects.