When is the last time you thought about networking? If you have not thought about it recently, it is crucial to brush up on your networking skills as it is a great tool to meet new people and find the best job opportunities. Networking, however, has changed so much due to the impacts of COVID-19. That is why it is essential to understand the basic networking fundamentals through in-person interactions and an online format. So, here are three tips to help you take your networking to the next level.
The best way to meet new people is to go to any networking events that start to present themselves. Whether this is going to dinner or attending an online event, this is the easiest way to spark conversations with professionals you would otherwise never have met. Before you head into any networking event, you should always think about having an objective. Come up with outcomes you want to accomplish to ensure these networking events are meaningful. This can be as simple as meeting new people or going to these events to discover new job opportunities. Either way, it is crucial to have goals in mind going into any occasion to help you be successful in networking.
Make Your Voice Heard
If you decide to network in-person or online, you must make your voice heard, so others remember who you are. Especially in an online setting, you must be active and consistent with presenting who you are. The best way to do this online is to reach out to people through LinkedIn, Facebook groups, or invite people from a platform of choice to have a virtual conversation with you. If you ever meet someone in an in-person or online setting, always follow up with them after turning those conversations into a real connection. This strategy can turn that initial networking goal into reality by keeping in touch with the people you met. It also shows that you care about the other person, which helps strengthen your connection even more.
Effectively Engage and Listen
Another important networking tip is actively listening to those you are connecting with. You do this by asking good questions to enable the person to let them tell you more about themselves. Especially in an online setting, there are tons of distractions, even in a direct message chat. Asking good questions can help you get the best conversation, whether it is in-person or online.
Asking engaging questions is where active listening becomes essential. When asking questions that promote the person you are talking to speak, you must hear them out and listen to what they are saying. Active listening will provide important details about your new connection and will help later on when reaching out after the networking event. It also shows that you care about following up with the person in getting to know them more. Taking in as much information by listening can ultimately set you up with valuable information and lead to establishing deep, more meaningful connections.
Looking For Networking Advice?
The impacts of COVID-19 have changed the way we network and build professional relationships. If you follow these three networking tips, you will be prepared to take your game to the next level this year. If you are looking for more job search or networking tips, explore our candidate resources! We have hundreds of helpful tips and tricks to help you propel your career, even in this wild job market.