There is no substitute for good old fashioned networking. You can not replace the value of a first impression or underestimate the importance of really meeting people vs. meeting online (although online meetings can reduce the stress and pressure associated with the first session).

Research shows that most jobs are obtained through contacts before the postings even become open to the general public. If you struggle with people skills and need some help expanding your network read on.

You can never underestimate the power of networking. Often success is directly proportional to the size of the social circle.
Whether you are looking for an entry-level job or wanting to climb the career ladder, you will need some networking savvy to survive in the business world.

The Internet opens up a myriad of opportunities for those nervous about networking and interpersonal skills. If you can effectively network online can be one of the most useful tools for those seeking jobs.

You will need to collect up all the business cards and contact numbers of the people you already know. Make one central place where you keep all your contacts’ information.

If you are new to the job market, here are some networking strategies for first-time job seekers. If you are looking for a job, you need to keep expanding your network continually.

Perhaps consider joining an organization such as Toastmasters if you are hesitant about networking because you lack confidence. A public speaking group will help you build trust, and you can join from anywhere in the world. As a bonus – you will meet many new contacts and expand your circles.

1. Make sure you understand how to use the Internet to search efficiently. Use all ways you can think of to come across new opportunities as they arrive

2. Create a spreadsheet or table of all your contacts. Add as much information as you can: things like company names, titles, names of key contacts, phone numbers, and emails – any info you can.

3. Regular contact: this is vital to the success of your network. Use any opportunity to connect. It’s essential not to take your system for granted.

4. Initiate face to face contact whenever possible.

5. Never pass up an opportunity to get out there and network. If you are in an industry that requires more networking and socializing, then limit the number of times you may say ‘no.’

6. Collect your contacts and feel free to call on them should the need arise.

Thank your contacts whenever they do something for you. Always be courteous and polite and do your best to respond to them timorously too.

©David Turner, Wordscapes®