Myths surround networking. It still remains an often dreaded and misunderstood concept, although it remains far the best way to land a job. Study after study show that networking is the most effective way to get a job. A better understanding of the process can go a long way in strengthening candidates’ career network.Networking has never been this easier in this article we look at different tips of how to strengthen ones career network.

  1. Understand that networking is not about ‘using’ people

From the word go a candidate you should understand that networking doesn’t mean asking everyone you run into for a job, even if he or she knows where job openings are. Rather, networking means establishing relationships you can enlist support and comfortably request for ideas, advice and referrals to those with hiring power. You will gain more when you understand that networking is done with the intention making contacts and sharing information for professional and personal gain.

Successful networking means participating in give-and-take; where both the networker and the contact benefit from the relationship. Even if your contact does not benefit immediately from knowing you, he or she should gain something from the relationship eventually.

  1. Use your network to tap into the large chunk of jobs that aren’t publicized

There is a large chunk of available jobs that are only passed through word of mouth which simply means networking. Learn to listen and use your network for such opportunities which help you accelerate further in your career.

  1. Set a goal of the number of people to network with

Have a goal of the number of contacts to have in your network list. This number should be as reasonable and effective as possible.

  1. Put energy into effective venues for networking

The “where” counts in strengthening your network. The most effective venues for networking that candidate should focus on should be where there are meetings for professional organizations, during volunteer experiences at charity events and fundraisers.

  1. Use your strong, thriving network to alert your pipeline jobs

Pipeline jobs are vacancies that an employer is in the process of creating but is not yet official. If you are constantly adding contacts to your network, and telling members of your network what you’re looking for, sooner or later, you will likely encounter a network contact who responds with, “Oh, my company is planning to hire someone like you, but the job hasn’t been posted yet.”

When that happens, you can ask if your contact can refer you to the hiring manager, perhaps even deliver your resume personally to him or her.

The beauty of this scenario is that if you make contact with the hiring manager while the job is still in the pipeline, you will have virtually no competition, which will increase your chances of getting the job.

  1. Use your online networking efforts to boost your face to face initiatives

Job-seekers should endeavor to raise their visibility online: to become known for their expertise, and “brand” themselves. They should ensure that any employer searching for someone like them on the Web will be able to find them. This endeavor can include having online portfolio, online resume, and/or a simple personal blog. Job-seekers can also comment on appropriate blogs and get involved in online social media venues like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, discussion groups in your career field, and other online communities.

  1. While at it, avoid the biggest online networking mistakes

The two main mistakes many do is to spend too much time networking online at the expense of the more effective face-to-face networking and failing to eliminate negative information about you that employers may uncover when they search for you.

  1. Avoid the biggest networking mistake job seekers make both online and offline

Failing to express gratitude happens to be the biggest mistake many do.A simple thank you note will go a long way while networking.

  1. Deploy “the ultimate networking technique”- Informational Interviewing

Informational interviewing is just what it sounds like; interviewing designed to produce information. That is information you need to choose or refine a career path, learn how to break in, and find out if you have what it takes to succeed. Informational interviewing is an expanded form of chatting with your network contacts. It’s the process of engaging one of your network contacts in a highly focused conversation that provides you with key information you need to launch or boost your career.

Source : Ethiojobs

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