Connect with People Online and In-Person

One way to meet contacts using the Internet is through “social networking.” If you use them, be sure to think about your goals. Make sure what you write on these sites is well written by typing your text into a word processor (such as Microsoft Word) first. Get feedback about what you have posted. Use your Elevator Speech. People sometimes even post their resume on these sites.

Be careful.

  • Never list your address, phone number, or bank accounts. Don’t give anyone your social security number.
  • Be positive. Don’t argue with people online. It is likely that employers will see everything you post.
  • Scammers may try to sell you training or job search assistance that should be free. 
Common Social Networking Websites
LinkedIn
  • Many professionals use LinkedIn. They connect with others in their career field and learn about events and trends.
  • To start, create your profile. This lists your skills, career goals, and past jobs- like a virtual resume.
  • Next, connect with people you know. You can ask them to post references for you. You can find others in your field by seeing the contacts from people you know. You can ask to add them to your “connections.”
  • Find out how/if you’re connected to the places you want to work at. Use this connection as an entry point- ask for an introduction or an informational interview.
  • Research employers and even find current job postings.
  • Search for groups related to your career interests. These groups update information often. You can ask questions and get job leads in these groups.
Twitter
  • Twitter sends very short messages to many people at one time.
  • You can use it to update "followers" on your career or find job leads.
  • Employers use it to tell people about job openings. They also use it to find out more about applicants.
  • Job seekers post their basic information. They may link to their resumes or blogs.
  • You can also use this to find out current news, trends, and information by following experts in your industry or companies you are targeting.
Facebook
  • Facebook is a place to connect with your friends and people they know. You make connections with people who share your interests.
  • You can search for people who work at employers you’d like to learn about. You can ask to connect with them about your job search. 
  • Even if you do not plan to use Facebook for professional purposes, make sure you don’t post inappropriate or incriminating pictures, or statements that may prevent you from being considered as a good candidate for a job. Employers can still look you up.

Connect with People In-Person: Networking Resources

Following is a list of resources for finding networking events.

​“You can get everything you want in life, by helping enough other people to get what they want!” –Zig Ziglar

Build Relationships First
  • Focus outward rather than inward.
  • Seek to make a connection.
  • Build rapport, find common ground.
Caring Attracts/Neediness Repels
  • “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
  • Respect everyone
Listen
  • How do you introduce yourself?
  • The five W’s.
  • Reflective listening techniques.
  • “To be interesting, one must be interested.”
The Law of Reciprocity
  • Be a go-giver not a go-getter.
  • What counts as a gift?
    Gifts can include: information, trust, praise & appreciation, feedback, access to network, contacts, references, invitation to an event, assistance (w/difficult tasks), smile, positive cheer, positive exposure, acknowledge milestones, mentoring, a personal note, caring, compassion, empathy, time, expertise, being courteous, cooperation, fun & laughter, listening, taking the afternoon off, sharing opportunities, or access to something special (event, rides, people, etc.).
Grow Contact Base
  • Join networking groups.
  • Attend networking events.
  • Network everywhere.

Resources:
Fearlessly Networking For Jobs. (e-book) Ken Marsh www.fearlessnetworkers.com
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D

What Networking Is What Networking Is Not
  • It is people talking to people for ideas, information, advice, feedback, and suggestions.
  • It produces information and information is power.
  • It’s the most valuable method for helping you achieve your objective goals in every part of your life.
  • It’s making others feel good about themselves and about you.
  • It moves you forward.
  • It gives you the power to act, rather than waiting for others.
  • It is NOT ASKING FOR A JOB!
  • It is not asking for favors.
  • It is not just collecting a big list of names to impress others.
  • It is not small talk or idle chit chat.
  • It does not always bring immediate results.
  • It is not just using a contact once. (It is developing contacts for a lifetime).
  • It is not, ever, a waste of time or effort.

Networking Cards
Networking cards are similar to business cards and are used in much the same way. Networking cards contain information including: your contact information, and your unique selling proposition or personal brand.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

A USP is used to differentiate one product from another. Usually, it is the one reason consumers will buy a product even though it may seem no different from many others just like it. It may be that the product has a lower price, more convenient packaging, or it may taste or smell better, or even last longer. 
Consider:

  • What is the one thing that makes you unique? 
  • What makes you better than any other candidates applying for a similar position with this company? 
  • What can you offer that no other applicant can? 
  • What is the one reason that the employer should want to hire you above all other candidates?

Pertinent Contact Information

This is the information necessary to contact you. This should include: your name, phone number, email address, postal mail address, and cell phone number.

Networking cards can be created using MS Word and printed at home, at a print shop, or you can create them using a website like Vistaprint.com.

On your Computer in MS Word:

  • Go to the “tool” menu from the top row.
  • Choose “Envelopes and labels” from the “Tools” menu.
  • Under “Options,” find the name of the paper manufacturer (Avery) and then find the correct product number in the lower left corner.
  • Type in the information you want on your card in the text box and hit “New Document.”
  • You can then format the cards exactly as you want them to print.
  • Print the final versions (on a high quality inkjet or laser printer only!)

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