Networking for Success Part 1: Making Connections
Networking for a job can be a tricky; if you are too pushy you could turn someone away. If you’re not direct with a person, she will forget about you the second you walk away. The key is for you to find some middle ground in each networking encounter. An important thing to remember is the more people you meet, the higher your chances are for success. Early on in your job search, what you lack for in networking experience, you must make up for in numbers. By exposing yourself to more and more people, the higher your confidence will become and the more comfortable you will be speaking in front of people.
The truth is you will never be hired after meeting someone for the first time. This is why the interview process is always at least two steps. You chances of being hired increase with your relentless tenacity for being a hungry fighter! One quality of a hungry fighter is always finding a reason to follow up with a new contact. Let’s look at how to do this with an example conversation.
Protégé: “It was nice to meet you and thank you for your time, Mr. Director. Here is my business card; do you have one as well?”
Mr. Director: “It was nice meeting you too. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any cards with me.”
Protégé: “That’s okay, I would still love to follow up with you about future opportunities for Programming positions at XYZ Corporation. Would you mind writing your email and phone number on the back of one of my business cards and I will follow up with you?”
Mr. Director gave you an objection, whether it was true or not, when he told you he didn’t have any business cards. You overcame the objection by having him write his email and phone number on one of yours instead. Yes, you could just connect with him on LinkedIn (you should still do this), but Mr. Director will be getting a dozen of those in the next few days. You now have an advantage over everyone else who met him that night; He gave you an invitation for a second conversation.