Do You Regularly Network?

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May 3, 2016 – Issue 32
Agriculture Networking Night (Texas A&M University-Co) ©

Today we have so many opportunities to network and build connections.  People often think networking is for individuals in business but this is certainly not the case.  If you are in a paid job and suddenly you were to lose the job, you would definitely want to reach out to your connections to see if they can help you out with leads to possible work.  Everyone can network and build their relationships through meetup groups, volunteer work, school, attending workshops and conferences, meeting others through family and friends.

Individuals, seeking a new job, may search for a position through the newspaper, a company website, LinkedIn and various other online avenues or through word of mouth.  Even head hunters will search you out.  However, 80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking, according to a report from ABC News.

“The size of your network is not as important as the quality of your network.”
~Douglas Vermeeren

If someone speaks well on your behalf and you meet all the requirements that their company is looking for, you are more likely to be interviewed over someone else applying with no connections to the organization.  “…employees who come to the company ‘known by us’ in some way are seen to be better hires and thought to get up to speed more quickly and stay with the company longer,” Martin Yate, Knock em Dead series, writes.

From my own experience as a hiring manager, I was more likely to hire people who others knew and could vouch for.  On the other hand, by my networking I have had others recommend or speak highly of me leading to my being hired for a position and in my business being referred to others for work.  By networking, having great connections and building relationships definitely work.

Another tool that can be used to build your connections is through LinkedIn which can help others to either reach out to you for a job, business and speaking engagements.  LinkedIn is the most popular site for recruiters by far.  LinkedIn clearly dominates in key uses, according to a recent JobVite survey:

  • 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates.
  • 95% use LinkedIn to contact candidates.
  • 93% use LinkedIn to “keep tabs on” potential candidates.
  • 93% use LinkedIn to “vet candidates pre-interview” (versus 32% on Facebook and 18% on Twitter).
  • 92% posted jobs on LinkedIn (versus. 48% on Facebook and 39% on Twitter).

Recruiters indicated they will check a candidate’s LinkedIn Profile for:

  • Professional experience
  • Length of professional tenure
  • Specific hard skills
  • And will compare the candidate’s resume to their profile.

“You must develop personal contacts if you want to be successful.”
~Armstrong Williams

Therefore, make sure your LinkedIn profile has a professional picture such as one you would use on your book cover if you were to publish a book or if you were running for office.  Always keep your profile appropriate, accurate and updated with a well written summary, detailed education and professional experience such as responsibilities and accomplishments and not just your job title.  Also include any recent internship / training and volunteer experience.  Otherwise you may be passed for other candidates who have a finished professional profile.  This also applies to business.  If an individual is looking for someone to help them with a certain need, they are more likely to reach out to an individual who they can relate to from reading their complete and detailed professional profile.  Your summary should always identify who your ideal client is that you are looking to work with or that ideal job.

If you are scheduled for an interview, ask who will be on the interview panel, especially the hiring Manager.  Use LinkedIn to find out more about the individuals before you meet them.  Check out if the hiring manager is connected to anyone you may know who could say a good word on your behalf.

For business owners, if someone is seeking your services they may reach out to you either because you have met and started to build a relationship with them or possibly one of their connections have recommended you.  Or they came across your profile on LinkedIn and checked out your website.  As the expression goes, people do business with people they know, like and trust.

“The difference between not working and networking is the “e” for effort.
Plan ahead, be focused and organized, and have the right attitude.”
~Donna Messer

Therefore, if you haven’t attended any meetings or events this week that would give you the chance to meet and build your connections what are you waiting for?  Start now by planning to schedule and attend a few meetings each week to encounter and build relationships with new individuals.  Another way to meet new people is to reach out to individuals from your social media groups who you are connected to but have never met.  Set up a coffee meeting.  You never know where it could lead you; possibly to a new job, referrals or even a joint venture.

PLAN for Your Success!


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