Your professional network can be a crucial asset to your career if you know how to make use of it. Follow these tips to take full advantage of your network and find the job that is right for you.

Start Now

The best time to start building your professional network of contacts is before you need them. Even if you are satisfied in your current job, it is imperative that you maintain your existing contact list and accumulate more as you go. Whether you are in the job search or not, you can never have enough business connections.

Connect Regularly

Immediately after a networking event, reach out to your contacts, thank them for their time, and provide a brief summary of your conversation to give a refresher. Be sure to schedule regular interactions with your new contact list. Reach out for any birthdays or holidays, and then choose two or three people to check in with each week.

Ask How You Can Help

Reciprocity is a reliable way to build connections at a networking event. Think about what resources you have and try to use those to your advantage. For example, if one of your contacts is looking to hire in an industry you are not applicable to or not interested in, point them in the direction of another job seeker who might be a better fit. By making an effort to help them out, your contacts are more likely to assist in your job search.

Specify What You Are Looking For

Give specifics on what you have excelled at in your career and what you are looking for in your next job position. Being too broad and saying you are “open to anything,” will only make it more difficult for your networking contacts to determine what may or may not be a good professional fit. Being more exact will make it easier for them to identify opportunities in which you may be interested.

Take Time To Make a Real Connection

When you find a genuine connection with an acquaintance, take time to seek that out and explore how you might be able to help each other professionally. Making one authentic contact will be more beneficial in the long-run, as opposed to multiple surface-level contacts.

Quality Over Quantity

When one person spends time during the current conversation thinking about their next conversation, both parties will be distracted, and there will be no real connection. Trying to hand your business cards off to as many people as possible can come off as pushy and impersonal. If you hand out business cards like you’re dealing poker, most people will fold. Take the time to invest in each discussion and build mutually beneficial relationships.

Make it Easy

When you go to a networking event, remember to make the information exchange as seamless as possible. Ask them how they prefer to exchange information and be prepared to work on their terms. Find a method to hand out your phone number, email address, and LinkedIn account. If you do not have a business card with this information on it, print off multiple half-page mini-résumé’s that have your contact information as well as brief bullet points that sum up your work experience. Putting in the extra effort will make you stand out from other candidates.

Trust in Snelling as Your Network

With over 65 years in the staffing and recruiting industry, we are experts in connecting the right people with the right opportunities. Whether it’s assisting you in building your resume, providing mock interviews, or providing you with networking and hiring tips, we have the experience and the tools to get you off on the right foot in the job search. Click here to search our available job opportunities now.