Networking Your Foot in the Door
by Pat Millfelt
Networking is an integral piece in the job search process. Having the right sphere of influence can get you that inside information before a job is posted. You must network for success! These questions must be answered before you begin: Do I have a networking plan? Goals? How many people do I need to meet? Who have I connected with and followed up with and what have I learned? Where do I want to work? Where do the employees hang out?
Once you are prepared, you must have a positive attitude. You do not know the other 250 people everyone in the room knows. Never hesitate to introduce yourself and give an honest introduction of yourself: Hello, I am Mary Smith. And you are? Where do you work? Once asked where you work, say I am currently looking to meet the HR person at Uline in Hudson. Who do you know who might help me? The decision makers of companies really do prefer to talk to applicants that others have recommended. Remember too that 80% of the jobs available never get posted. Be sure to send a follow-up letter of thanks once you have been helped.
Do the Ask
Be sure to network at volunteer events, school functions, church, purposeful networking groups, with neighbors, social clubs, and alumni events and even at the dentist office and hair salon. You'd be surprised how many people these folks know. A critical piece of any conversation is "do the ask". You must be honest, ask for help. People really do love to help but they are unable if your pride gets in the way. "Do the ask", Sue, who do you know that is hiring? Do you know the Human Resource person at The Hartford, or John Hancock Insurance headquarters? I could really use your help. Your husband works there, would you please ask him? Sue, is there anyone I can introduce you to? How may I help you? Follow up with a thank you; "Sue; I could not have done it without your help".
Here's wishing you great success!
Pat Millfelt is owner of Serendipitous Connections Marketing. She can be reached by calling 715-338-0262 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at http://www.serendipitousconnectionsmarketing.com/.
P.S. from Joan: Are you a power networker? Take this quiz
and find out.