Three Often Overlooked Networking Tips

BY: ON TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012

If you’re searching for a new job or career path, networking is, and has always been one of the best ways to meet new professionals in your field of interest. While getting on LinkedIn and sending out emails to people can be effective, there are three advanced and often overlooked tips you network for a connection.

1.  Use the Power of Direct Communication

While the world we live in is becoming increasingly dependent on technology and social media, the power of direct, face-to-face contact with others will always trump an informal email. Events such as networking conferences or other public gathering are rife with professionals in your field of interest. If you can’t get to events like this, contact people you already know either by giving them a call, or if you have their address, by writing them a letter. As antiquated as may sound, sending carefully written letters, using monogram return address labels and beautiful envelopes can show the person that you’re serious about wanting them as a professional contact. Even if these people have nothing to do with what you want to do, they may know someone who does.

2.  Make Yourself Useful to the Person

After you’ve established a connection, it’s more professional to ask how you can help them instead of how they can help you. Ask them if there is any way for you to assist them or someone they know while at the same time gaining more experience in your specific field of interest. Instead of telling them what you want to happen, you’re letting them take control. It’s not forceful; you’re just asking them to keep their eyes open.  Remember, you’re not trying to harvest information from them; you’re building a professional relationship. However, the most important thing you can do, as illustrated by the third tip, is to never lose communication with your contact.

3.  Keep the Conversation Going

Your acquaintance may not always come back that week with a potential lead for you. In fact, that may happen the majority of the time. If it does, don’t let the flame die out! Get in touch with him or her every month to let them know you’re still interested in their life and any potential opportunities at hand. Whether it’s a quick call asking them how they’re doing or sending a LinkedIn message about another potential job to get their opinion on it, your contact will most likely look forward to hearing from you each month to see how you’re doing.

While networking and building professional relationships remain constants in the business world, the finer points of this type of communication remain hidden to many. Using these three tips, having an open mind to different opportunities and staying personable will get you far in your search to improve your career.

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