One of the most important skills you need to develop as a job seeker is how to become a successful networker. It is a great way to create career opportunities and set you apart from the crowd. Every networking opportunity you have is an opportunity to learn and grow as a person and can make a huge difference to your success.

The thought of networking can be overwhelming even for the most confident. Some people are natural networkers whilst others struggle. Here are five simple ways to help you become a better networker.

  1. Be prepared – Before going to a networking event, find topics that will help build a conversation and break the ice. Develop a quick 60-second elevator pitch to introduce yourself and your interests. This will make it easier for other people to engage with you.

 

  1. Focus on your body language – Try to relax and be yourself. If you don’t feel overly confident networking, adjust your body language to trick yourself into thinking that you are more confident.

 

  1. Make sure you ‘Network’ – Sometimes you must leave your comfort zone to be able to create new relationships with others. Networking means to going to events and reaching out to people. Make conversation, ask questions, engage and involve yourself with others.

 

  1. Put yourself out there – The more often you put yourself into a networking situation, the easier it becomes. Allow yourself to gradually become accustomed to introducing yourself to others to grow your network and advance your career.

 

  1. Follow up – This might be the most important tip of all! Stay fresh in people’s minds. Make sure you follow up with people you meet.  Ask them to meet for coffee.  Emailing and requesting connection on LinkedIn are also great ways to follow up. Keep the conversation going.

 

Networking is not only about going to events and meeting new people, but it’s about building networks that are meaningful. Networking takes time, effort and commitment, but helps you develop and grow.

 

To find out about different networking opportunities in your area, contact your local council, enterprise centre or visit nibusinessinfo.

 

If you need help with your networking skills or looking for new career opportunities, contact Judith at Employmint on 07809238786

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