The old adage that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, holds true in every industry. That is why networking should be your top priority when you are searching for a new job. Here are three top tips.
1. Always have business cards available. It’s easy (and relatively inexpensive) to have personal cards made. And remember, the more unique your business card, the more it stands out. Ask a friend who is a graphic designer to come up with a custom logo for you, or use a bold font that really stands out (just be sure it is readable). Get a new contact’s card in return as well, of course. Follow up with a “nice to meet you” message, and arrange for a coffee meeting if it is appropriate.
2. Utilizing social media platforms is important for networking as well. Go beyond just Facebook and Twitter and fine-tune your LinkedIn profile (which potential employers are likely to check). Set up a bio, use a photo, and make sure your resume is complete.
3. Self-confidence goes a long way when you are getting out there and meeting people. One way to build yourself up is to read biographies of successful people. Everyone at the top had to deal with professional struggles to get where they are today, and learning how they overcame those situations is valuable.