Sure, it’s who you know, but it’s also who knows you. Today, having a robust network of work colleagues, friends and professional connections can mean the difference between a long job hunt and an easy referral to a new position. Professional networks have opened a lot of doors for a lot of people over the years, advancing careers and even expanding businesses. Taking the time to learn how to hone or build your own network could help you land your next job.
Getting Started – Building Your Network
Books have been written and seminars given on the art of business networking. We’ve assembled five tips we’ve seen work well for someone on the job market, but also for sales teams.
- Engage and help others
Trust is built when people see you helping others. If you work to help people in your professional network, chances are they will reciprocate by helping you. Generally, when your network gets stronger, so do you. You build trust leading by example and giving advice or a helping hand when someone in your network seems to need it.
Social media is a great venue for sharing ideas and expertise. Make sure you’re resharing other people’s accomplishments or insight, and then watch how your network starts to expand. If you notice that one of your connections is seeking a new business connection, help them find it. You’ll feel a sense of satisfaction that will also build your personal brand.
- Get out there
In addition to visibility on social media; get out in the community to network with people at events. Then add them to your social media business networks and communicate with these new connections.
- Listen more than you talk
Try not to get a reputation as a conversation monopolizer; instead, try to listen and give advice more than you ask. Listening is one of the most valuable skills anyone can share and people value the trait in business. Practice asking open-ended questions and engage curiously with people in your network. The goodwill always comes back around.
- Think strategically about your connections
Be deliberate in your approach toward building connections. Ask for referrals to people you’d like to get to know. Get out there and meet people certainly, but make sure they are the right people that will help your career move forward.
- Have great follow-up
How many times have you met people and failed to get their full contact information? Getting a person’s name, and then connecting with them on LinkedIn is important. But it’s just as important to make sure you’re following through on the discussion you had with that person. Maybe you were going to share the name of a good recruiter with the person you met. If so, make sure you follow through, which will impress your new networking partner.
One of the best ways to build your professional network is to make a connection with the talent team at Blackstone. Our professional networks include hiring managers, business owners, employees and a variety of people just waiting to get to know you better. Make Blackstone a key part of your network and watch what happens to your career. Call us today.