Regardless of what position you hold, whether you have a job and you’re happy, employed and looking for a job, unemployed or a business owner looking to hire people, networking is crucial. Professional networking is more than just getting someone’s business card or connecting on LinkedIn though, it’s an entire exchange between you and another person and could impact your future.
Now, as a staffing professional, you may thing to yourself, “I know the importance of networking” or are even asking yourself “Why do I need to network?” It’s simple – the more people you know, as job candidates, potential clients or just other industry professionals – the more prepared you are to serve your purpose – making connections.
Recruiting software will help you keep those connections fresh, organized and detailed so that you can pull information at a moment’s notice. However, it won’t help you make that initial contact – that’s all on you.
Here are a few quick tips for professional networking:
1) Take your time. If you’re at an event and are constantly looking over your shoulder to find the next “important” person to talk to, the people you are conversing with are going to be insulted. Take the time to build a quality connection with an individual that goes beyond the “Hi, how are you and what can you do for me” mold.
2. Show confidence. People typically gravitate toward others who are confident. Take charge in a conversation if the discussion is muted and faltering. Direct it to topics that you feel everyone can get excited about – or at the very least participate in.
3. Learn to research. Once you’ve left an event with business cards in hand, remember to go home and schedule a time to reconnect with people. A quick message and connection on LinkedIn or Twitter may be appropriate depending on the business and how close you felt the connection was.