Networking Top Tips
Use Existing Connections
Consider people you already know such as friends and family, they can all help you build a network by putting you in touch with people who can help you. If you’re interested in an apprenticeship in Engineering, see if you have any family or family friends who might know someone.
Put Yourself Out There
Don’t be afraid to drop people a message or email asking questions about their job. 9 times out of 10 they will reply and offer some pretty amazing advice. Just make sure you are polite and formal and most people won’t have any issues chatting with you, they will probably appreciate your initiative.
Social Media Can Help
Ensure your social media is appropriate and has nothing that could jeopardise your future job prospects. Use your social media to reach out to people, follow companies that inspire you and comment/like/retweet relevant posts.
Use The Correct Language
Remember when your English teacher told you about Standard English? It’s times like this when that comes in handy. Make sure any emails or messages are written clearly and that you make it obvious what you want out of the conversation. Try not to write too much. Be simple, clear, concise and most importantly, polite.
Honesty Is Key
As tempting as it is to slightly exaggerate your skill set when talking to someone impressive, don’t bother. You are looking to make long-term relationships here, so be honest about what you can do, what you can’t do and what you want to achieve. It is okay to admit you don’t have it all planned out yet. People would much rather hear this than you lie about how much you want something.
Networking Works Both Ways
A successful connection is one where you and your contact both get something out of it. Even if this is you sharing interests or even other connections. Make sure your new contact knows you are worth networking with, even if all you can share is your passion for their industry.
When networking in person, ensure you listen to what your future contacts have to say. It might not necessarily interest you specifically but maintaining eye contact, nodding along and responding appropriately can go a long way. You never know who they might know.
Ask Good Questions
People will want to network with you if you come across as interesting and passionate. Try and stay away from asking generic questions such as ‘what do you like most about accounting’. Show you have done some research into the company and ask more specific questions such as ‘I see you have recently opened up a second branch in Halifax, how is this new venture going?’.
Make Networking A Regular Activity
Try and network as much as possible, even if this is just once a month. If you have established good connections try and stay in contact. Drop them an email every now and then with some relevant questions in to show you are not just interested in having peoples contact details for job applications only.
There is no point creating a relationship with a contact if you cannot be yourself. Yes use formal language and be professional but ensure your personality has a time to shine. The more you are yourself the more chance you have of someone remembering you.
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