By Danielle Patton
In the current competitive job market, it takes more than a polished resume and exceptional interpersonal skills to attain a desired occupation. One method of emerging from the frenzied job pool is to network, a vital tool that can amplify business opportunities and shape lasting partnerships. By staying active through routine communication with contacts, blossoming ideas and novel perspectives can swiftly arise.
So how can you cultivate a robust professional network? Use these guidelines to lift your career off the ground and soar into your unique vocation.
Quality over Quantity
Having a plethora of contacts can only be helpful if the size of the group matches the value of each connection. Your network is only as strong as your contacts, and it’s the people you actually recognize and appreciate who will help advance your career. On professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, it is imperative to avoid adding insignificant persons. Rather, you should condense your connections to those that are strictly correlated to your career. Anyone can simply foster a substantial network, but it takes true strategy and energy to assemble contacts that embolden your professional career and situate you for success.
Keep in mind that networking isn’t just about building up your own list of contacts. It also enriches the lives of others around you by putting them in touch with people that will heighten their careers as well as yours. Likewise, when supporting and staying in contact with your associates, make sure to preserve a warm, welcoming impression that people remember and respond to. Regardless of a person’s credentials, an attitude can make people gravitate towards you or flee in the opposite direction.
Correspondingly, at the end of any conversation, always execute a call-to-action. This can mean exchanging business cards, setting lunch meetings, or connecting through social media.
No Experience Necessary
Work familiarity is not crucial to begin networking---you can start connecting with friends, family, professors, and any other figures that can recount your achievements and individuality. Of course, it is possible to land that dream job by powerfully executing the application process. Nonetheless, to stand out from the crowd, use resources that are familiar to you and are able to flawlessly highlight your accomplishments.
To commence your connection process, take part in discussions, ask plenty of questions, and immerse yourself in different career fairs. It may seem difficult to jump into the ring of professionals, but once you step outside your comfort zone, countless opportunities will fly your way.
Danielle Patton is a Marketing Intern at Wiss & Company, LLP. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.