By Aimee Cohen, Owner, Cohen Career Consulting and CWCC Member
You will never find a job in your pajamas! Surfing the Internet for 14 hours a day is NOT an effective way to conduct a job search. The Internet is an invaluable resource for researching companies, finding job openings, and connecting with people on social media sites. However, Facebook and LinkedIn should NEVER be used as a substitute for good, old fashioned face-to-face personal interaction. If you need to find a job, the single, most important thing you can do is get dressed, get out, and get networking.
It has always been true, and it will always be true…the number one way to find a job is by networking. As a job search strategy, networking has a success rate of 75-80% and 90% for executives. It’s a fact that people hire people they know and people they like. The more people you meet, the more people you know, the greater your chances of securing a new position.
It is also true that not all job seekers are created equal when it comes to networking. Some people are born networkers and it’s very easy and natural for them to connect with people. However, the vast majority of job seekers would rather have root canal surgery without anesthesia then walk into a room full of strangers. There’s a reason why the word “work” appears in “networking”…it doesn’t just happen magically, it takes effort. The good news is that networking is a skill, and with some practice and preparation, it can easily be mastered.
Here are my Top 10 Tips to make every networking event a success:
1. Bring networking tools…business cards, pen, and paper
2. Set realistic goals for the number of people you want to meet and who
3. Act like a host, not a guest…make introductions
4. Be an active listener and ask questions
5. You’re not there to sell, but to develop relationships
6. Give referrals and be a resource
7. Focus on quality not quantity
8. Practice your Elevator Pitch
9. Even if it’s a party, you’re still working
10. Follow up, follow up, follow up!
Even though every conversation is a networking opportunity, consider a more strategic approach and join a job seeking networking group, attend a professional association event, or volunteer your time with one of your target companies. Conversing with others face-to-face is not only the best way to network, but it’s the best preparation for actual job interviews. Facebook and LinkedIn will expand your online network exponentially, but will never take the place of a firm handshake, direct eye contact, and a warm smile.
Aimee Cohen is a Career Expert, Coach, and Speaker. She owns Cohen Career Consulting, is a contributing writer for the Denver Business Journal, has appeared on Channel 7 and Channel 4 News, and was featured in Denver Woman magazine. For more than 18 years, she has coached clients in personalized one-on-one consultations, led outplacement transition seminars for Fortune 500 companies, and delivered dynamic career-related presentations to audiences of all sizes. With a nearly 100% success rate, Aimee empowers people to implement a strategic step-by-step action plan with proven techniques that generate results. She transforms “job seekers” into “job finders”. Find out more at http://www.cohencareerconsulting.com.