** Networking Article by Tulsa staffing specialist and President, Cory Minter
Hands down, one of the most powerful tools for a recruiter or a job seeker, is their networking skills or their current network that they have created over their career. It is more important now than I have ever seen in my lifetime. In today’s world of facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and the other social networking sites, networking has become a very powerful tool. Just thinking back at examples of Lady Gaga going past 1,000,000 friends on her facebook last week; I can’t help but think of how influential of a person she has become. Just think if you had the ability to post one message online and be all but guaranteed that at least 1,000,000 people would view that comment, opinion, or request. Think of the response you may get. It has the potential to change national opinion. I’m sure that large institutions such as the US government is now somewhat interested in what Lady Gaga might say about them or anything else, as well as other large businesses.
Businesses are also racing to get into the social networking game to market and advertize their businesses/services and become more of a powerful presence in the online world. The reason that they are doing this is because they see the enormous potential of networking with everyone that is surfing the web. They understand the opportunity that comes with having a level of influence regarding their products to you and I and everyone else that may notice them online. Just like anyone who has started a business, whether it is large or small, they know the amount of networking that was required to get it off of the ground, grow, and sustain consistent customers
Have you thought about your personal network? Is it working for you? You can begin building your network by doing these 3 main things:
- Get out and meet people in person. This is a sort of old school networking, but trust me it works. Building relationships a very powerful tool when getting business, or getting hired. People hire and do business with other people that they like, or know someone else that likes them. You need to make sure that you fall into one of these categories. So how do you begin to build your network? Find organizations that are created for your career field and attend them. While you are there, do your best to meet people. Don’t be frustrated or discouraged if at first you have trouble making connections. Keep going back. Others will begin to remember your face and be more comfortable approaching you. Also, it makes it much easier to approach someone else by saying “I have been meaning to come and meet you. I have seen you at these meetings the past few months” Make your face known to a specific career related field.
- Get on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This is the biggest thing going right now. It is by far the quickest and easiest way to build a network of people. All you need to do is make contact with at least 1 person you know online and then you can start to view the other people they are networked with. It is a great tool for those who are not naturally outgoing. It is a great tool to build a network of people and make that first approach in person much much easier.
- Do not let your network work against you. If you burn bridges or have done so in the past, networking can work against you harder than you would ever believe. It is the one thing that we use as recruiters to check on potential employees. To ask others if they know who you are. For example: If you worked at Hospital X (for example) and we happen to be networked with someone in Hospital X, of course, we will call and ask if they knew you and/or the quality of your work. Even in large cities, it is fascinating how small of a world it is being that everyone is so well networked in today’s time. Have you ever wondered why it is so important to give a two week notice. If you did not, I’ll bet your past employer was not particularly happy with the way that you left them. Be careful to not ruin your reputation around town. You never know how it may come back to you in the future. Make sure and protect your reputation in your city. It is smaller than you might think. I can guarantee you.