Professional networking is an essential skill for everyone to master. But networking within your industry is one of the most important ways you can set yourself up for long-term success and career growth. You have a lot to offer employers, co-workers, and customers. In order to advance in your career, you need to know the best ways to convey those skills and that knowledge to others through professional networking. This blog covers a few of the ways you can be really effective at selling yourself and your vision.
What is the Importance of Networking?
You Need To Put Yourself Out There
We all know that networking can be something to dread. Particularly for introverted people it can be difficult to put yourself out there and have a conversation with someone you don’t know well. There are a few ways to overcome that reticence and really shine when networking. Start with being an active listener. You want to talk about yourself, your skills, your experience but so do the people you are networking with. Show an interest in what they have to offer, and you can find out what you have to offer them. Find out what products and services their company has to offer, how they set themselves apart from their competition, who their clients are and who makes the important decisions at their company. Knowing those things helps you get across what you have to offer them.
Be Strategic In Your Career Development
Be thoughtful and evaluate both the events you attend and the contacts you make while you network. Be sure to follow up with important contacts and look for ways (like a one-on-one lunch) that you can further develop a new contact. Be open to getting out there and trying new things like that cooking class you’ve been thinking of taking because there are networking opportunities in unexpected places. Work on your pitch so that you are always ready to talk about what you do and what you have to offer.
Be Memorable to Others to Make A Name For Yourself
Don’t overlook the things that make you unique and memorable. You never know when a shared passion for a cause or hobby you have in common might spark a real connection with a new networking contact. It’s important to behave professionally while networking, but you also need to show off your personality in a positive way and avoid being bland and forgettable.
Build A Digital Brand
You can’t overlook the importance of networking online. With a variety of websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, it is important to maintain a professional digital presence. Craft a profile that demonstrates your professional achievements and use websites like LinkedIn and Facebook to show that you keep up with advancements and current developments in your field. Offer your own thoughtful analysis of those developments. Be a careful curator of your own content on these websites. Never post pictures, personal or professional stories, memes, or share content from other people that would reflect poorly on your own judgment or professionalism.
Have You Started Networking with Professionals in Your Industry?
For more tips on how to up your professional networking game, connect with the recruiting team at CPS today.