“Networking” used to be a small part of finding a job, now it’s everything. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and a myriad of other techniques and tools have almost made the resume obsolete. If you’re a little behind the eight ball with your networking techniques in the business world, here are some tips to help you catch up:
Prepare your elevator speech
Everyone has one—The elevator speech is your oral business card, resume and career aspirations all rolled into one to have ready to aid you in finding a job. As you can guess by the name, the elevator speech is the 30-second commercial you have lined up just in case you meet someone who’s worth networking with, or who can help you in finding a job. These business opportunities usually happen during one of those random encounters we all experience from time to time, thus the name, “elevator speech”. It can be about you, what you do, your business aspirations or what your career goals are.
Get on LinkedIn
In case you haven’t heard already, LinkedIn is the next best thing to finding a job at a job fair or some other networking event. In fact, LinkedIn is better because LinkedIn is a business “event” that’s happening 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can add your references, resume, even little daily updates that is a great aid in finding a job and can give a prospective employer an insight into how passionate you are about the business.
Suppose you are at a job fair or some other business event. What do you do here? Besides dressing the part, we hoped you will have done your research. Try to get a roster of the companies or people that are going to be at the event, then match them with their titles at the company. Also research the company itself. This will give you fuel for the conversation after your elevator speech.
Whether you’re meeting someone online or in person, finding a job requires you to be real and genuine. You don’t want to sound like those desperate candidates who slither from important person to important person at the business event. People can see through that. Instead, shut up, and learn how to listen. We mean really listen, focus on what the person is saying, and generate your conversation from that, casually slipping in what you’re all about in the process. If you handle this networking technique correctly, finding a job will seem less intimidating and you will be remembered as that “really cool person that I’d really like to try and help”.