5 Effective Networking Tips
The struggle to establish oneself in the 21st century has become increasingly difficult. Everyone around you is making every effort possible to be the best candidate for competitive jobs. Good skill set has become more common than ever. Then how does one differentiate themselves? How do today’s students strive to be recognized? Well the answer is simple. Networking.
Expanding networks is the key to being recognized, admired, and differentiated. Many students have the qualified skills for jobs, but not many students have established connections to land these jobs. When you’re at an interview that has 20 equally qualified candidates, your skills will only get you so far. However, if there was a prior connection to the employer, the chances of getting the job simply increases.
In order to optimize the chances of success in receiving desired dream jobs, students must illustrate remarkable networking skills. Successful networking can easily be achieved if you are prepared beforehand.
Expand your horizons by performing the following 5 networking tips:
Tip #1: Connect, Don’t Neglect!
The key to strong communication lies in the connection that is made between two individuals.
Determine who your audience is and find a subject area that allows you and your audience to mutually connect. Take a step back to analyze WHO your audience is, WHAT your audience does, and HOW to appeal to your audience. Now, you don’t have an hour to research every possible way you could impress whom your speaking to. However, as your audience introduces themselves, you learn about who they are and what they do, after which you take 15–30 seconds to decide how you should appeal to them. Remember, the best way is to make simple conversations on easy topics. For example, if you’re speaking to the CEO of a leading interior design firm, bring out your artistic side and connect on the topic of colours, furniture, paintings etc. Speaking of such simple topics allows for your words to come out easily, as the subject at hand is easy to comprehend and it sparks an immediate connection.
Furthermore, don’t neglect your audience. Illustrate your interest towards what they are saying with the use of your body language. Don’t slouch and give them the wrong impression, instead stand/sit up straight and demonstrate your appreciation for what they are talking about. Respectful behaviour is admirable.
Tip #2: Be Confident, Not Incompetent!
CONFIDENCE. CONFIDENCE. CONFIDENCE.
You know what shows confidence? Being yourself. Let go and just be who you are without any worries, without hesitation. The fact of the matter is that these high profile individuals started exactly where you did and so they know what it feels like to be in your shoes. Showcase your self and your skills because who you are is something to be proud of.
Don’t feel like you have any skills?
Well that’s okay. Your starting handshake, your bright smile, and charismatic personality makes up for your lack of skills. Your every demeanor reflects the type of person you are, so allow your inner self to be reflected through your confidence.
In order to make sure you are confident, you need to determine whether or not you are nervous.
Nervousness gears incompetency. Nervousness is like a black shadow. A shadow that comes out in the time of your light, solely to take away from it. Don’t let the shadow of nervousness take away your lime light. It’s up to you to control whether you are nervous or confident. Three ways you can avoid nervousness are:
1. Mediate. Meditation allows for your body to relax and observe your inner thoughts with no interference. It allows you to connect with oneself/yourself.
2. Encouragement. Look in the mirror and practice power poses or words of encouragement. Motivating yourself and placing yourself in a position of authority gives you a rush of positive energy that is carried with your throughout the day. Perhaps, make a superman pose and tell yourself that you are amazing. It really helps.
3. Find what works for you. Jogging? Yoga? Exercise? Music? Sports? Do what ever it takes for your nerves to calm down.
The quote, “mind over matter,” really establishes itself in this situation. Take control of your nervousness and show other individuals how amazing you are by leaving a lasting impression.
Tip #3: Stay Simple, Stay Straightforward!
Simplicity can get you very far. Make simple conversations. Let’s be honest, at networking sessions, it is fairly easy to get alone and gain access to your cell phone. Take advantage of the 21st century and use your device to look into your audience and attempt to research more personal stuff. Conversations of sports and food can go a very long way. A talk about social media and the increasing use of technology is also an easy conversation filler that allows for small talk that is not complicated. Stay away from discussing controversial topics, such as political views or personal life views. Such topics allow for your audience to create judgements about you. Our goal is not to tell your audience about your deepest and darkest secrets, but instead the aim is to simply connect on small talk that can easily lead to another meeting. Let your personality do the talking and just be likeable so that your audience is intrigued and wants to continue keeping in touch with you.
Tip #4: Dress to Impress!
Casual or professional attire, make sure you wear it right. Tuck in that shirt, and tighten up that tie. Your first impression is created on the basis of your looks, your attire, and your posture. Do not go to a networking event wearing clothes that are stained, ripped, or are not ironed. What you wear reflects how well you keep yourself together. Now this doesn’t mean that you need to wear a $100 shirt, it just means that you should clean up your act and look presentable when representing yourself.
Tip #5: Share Vision and Share Values!
Last but no least, the most important tip is to market yourself in terms of your passion, your goals, and desires, not by your skills and level of intellect. Networking sessions are not a sales pitch, they are a method of genuine interaction. In this interaction, take the time to explain what you value and what your vision is. Discuss any ideas you have, big or small, so that you can get a second opinion on them. Leaving your interaction on a basis of what you value, is the sincerest way to create a genuine connection. During my networking sessions, I like to discuss my family, and state how they are of value to me. Perhaps, your values go far beyond family and friends, you might value the environment, or value the lives of others. Do not hesitate to share the things you value and the vision you set adhere to your values.
Evidently, it really is not too hard to go out and network. You simply have to give it an honest effort. Create a sparking connection, be respectful, be confident, and be yourself. Take control over yourself by knowing what you want to portray in an interaction. Leave the black shadow of nervousness to hinder elsewhere. I hope these tips help you part take in effective networking sessions. Be yourself and enjoy yourself.