The Value of Networking (and How to do it Successfully)

In the job hunting process, your education and skill set are important. However, there is something to be said for your network and how effectively you use it. Knowing people can help you land the job you really want, and a job where you can excel. The value of your personal network can be worth more than just your skill set alone.

Think of your network like the advertising behind a product. The product can be excellent and necessary for use by everyone in the world, but without the proper marketing, no one will know it even exists. Your network can help propel you from obscurity to someone who has a resume in the hands of recruiters in major companies around the country. Here are some ways you can network successfully:

  1. Be the first to ask how you can help. When you meet someone new – even an online connection – offer to help them in any way that you can. Don’t make false promises, but reach out and let them decide if they want your help or not.
  2. Always return the favor. Don’t be the person who asks and takes from others without giving something back in return. Not only should you return the favor, but you should also thank them for however they have helped you. Even if the meeting or interview didn’t yield results, you need to thank them for their efforts and time.
  3. Know your stuff. You need to be someone of benefit to your network, and you can’t be that if you never learn about your industry or continue your learning in some way. A network is considered fluid, meaning it is always changing and evolving. You don’t want to be the one stopping the positive and forward motion by never having anything to offer anyone else.
  4. Stay active and social. Get online and share articles that you’ve read, then ask your network for their opinions. By engaging your connections, you deepen the relationship as well as show the ability to facilitate a meaningful discussion. People enjoy sharing what they know. When you sit back and let your network share, you’ll learn and they will feel valued as part of your network.
  5. Change your connections. You may have some of the same friends from school, but you’ve always made new friends over time. Your network should be the same way. Don’t forget about past employers or colleagues, but try to meet new people and grow your sphere of influence.
  6. Share your connections. Don’t be stingy with your network. If you are doing the work and maintaining relationships with your connections, they won’t disappear. As you introduce them to new connections, there will be more and more opportunities offered close to you and your own life, through your network.

Never underestimate the importance of “who you know” as well as how much you know. The right people can put you in front of the decision makers at a company – and before you know it, you’ve found a fulfilling career. Reach out to the experienced recruiting team at Malone to being working with our recruiters today!

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