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The name of the game is changing

The Name of the Game is Changing. . . it is All About Networking

In order to be successful in your job search, you can no longer spend tens of hours hiding behind your computer, emailing your resume and responding to countless job postings online.  Now, it is all about getting out there, becoming recognized, building relationships, growing your network… It is all about NETWORKING!

The concept by itself is simple.  It is defined as establishing a surrounding of contacts, connecting with them and keeping in touch with them.  But keep in mind that networking involves a lot more.  It goes beyond collecting and exchanging business cards.  The deep meaning of the networking idea resides in the fact that it is a process that should be performed constantly not on as needed basis.  While networking, you are creating your own luck!

Before you get involved in the networking process, you need to be clear on who you are, what you do, and how you can add value.  Be aware of your weaknesses.  Know exactly what you have to offer.  Be clear on what you are looking for.  Basically, learn how to market yourself.  Prepare an efficient, short and clear message that promotes who you are while making you memorable to your listener.

When you start building relationships, your contacts start putting together your name along with your face, along with your experience.  Show interest in what your listener is saying, offer advice and support to your circle of network, and go the extra mile… the bottom line here is to become well-known and recognized.  The more you do so, the more your contacts will think of you unconsciously and start sending your way referrals and opportunities that might end up being your next dream job.

Most of your networking should be in person.  Check out different organizations which may attend to your needs, experience, and industry.  Before joining, test the waters; attend a couple of their events to find out if this is the crowd you want to rub shoulders with.  Is this the environment you want to be associated with?  Have a clear goal before attending mixers and know exactly your purpose for attending those events.  And once you decide on few organizations, become a member, and get involved all the way by joining committees, for example.

Keep in mind though that you still need to have an online presence as well.  Use the Internet to your advantage.  Get online and sign up with one or more social and business networking websites.  Choose the ones that best fit your needs and help you meet your goals faster by keeping tabs and staying in touch with your contacts.  Be selective about what kind of information you share through your e-networking.  The Internet is a public unsecure world!

It is crucial to understand that networking is a numbers game.  You need to build your network one contact at a time.   Be selective about who you want to belong to your network.  Know enough about your connections and learn more about what they do.  And keep in mind that networking starts when the event is finished!

Courtesy of Manal Richa, The MarCom Network – offering Communications, Branding and Advertising solutions.

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