Building a professional network should be ongoing throughout your career. And it’s a critically important tool in your toolbox if you find yourself job searching. So, if you need to step up the pace of your networking quickly, what’s the best way to go about it?
LinkedIn and other social platforms are a good place to start, but there are also some effective ways to quickly grow your network offline. As is true with all your networking and overall job search efforts, the best strategy is a blend of both.
Let’s start with LinkedIn.
Because it remains the primary online networking site, grow the power of your LinkedIn platform quickly by:
- Create connection invitations that convert. Focus first on people you already know through professional channels. If they recognize your name, they’re more likely to accept. Be sure your connection invite is personalized to your recipient.
- When you attend a live industry event – which you should also do while network – building reach out to presenters. You may even want to send them an invitation while their presentation is still going on, to show them you’re watching live and paying attention.
- If conversations lead to back and forth messaging, go with it. Keep things natural, light and professional. LinkedIn messages shouldn’t be too wordy. If a conversation needs to be moved to email or the phone, then do so. If it feels casual, keep it on LinkedIn.
Other social media can also help you speed up your networking.
You can do this in person too, but think about an introduction swap: In exchange for connecting a friend or colleague to one of your contacts, ask them to do the same for you. Specific to social media, here are a few additional tips:
- Hit up a Twitter chat to start connecting with like-minded people. It can be a good way to make contacts virtually, especially if you don’t have any face-to-face events coming up. Instagram, Facebook and other platforms can also be valuable.
- Whichever social media you use to network, listen to what others have to say and help solve their problems. Engage in discussions beyond promoting your own agenda. Wait for the right time to weave that into the conversation.
Networking starts at home.
Nourish your own network by starting in your own office or neighborhood. Take a coworker, classmate or colleague to lunch and get to know them better. You can also:
- Do someone a favor to make their job or their day easier. This will leave a lasting positive impression.
- Attend a speed networking event.
- Turn to alumni at your school or college. There’s an automatic connection there.
One of the best networks you join is at PrideStaff Modesto. Our recruiters have deep roots in the community, and we can help you gain access to a wide variety of professionals – and career opportunities – that you may not find on your own. Start by connecting with us today!