This is a guest blog post by Kristin Johnson.
Savvy job seekers know networking is essential to shortening a job search. The thinking is that it’s easier to get hired when your interviewer knows, likes, and trusts you. How do we know this to be true? Are employers really open to hiring people they meet at networking events?
Every year, Career Directors International conducts its Global Hiring Trends Survey. In 2012, they asked this question: “If you met a job seeker through networking or a job fair and he/she provided you with a business card-sized résumé that listed contact info, job targets, and skills, would you pursue the person further?” Results were vastly in favor of exploring a networking contact’s candidacy.
The survey interpreted the data stating, “An overwhelming number of respondents (79%) indicated that they would be open to receiving a business card-sized résumé at a networking event or at a job fair if the job seeker’s skills matched the type of roles being filled.”
So you meet someone from your target company at an event. How do you get them to pursue you further? What do you do next? Follow these steps to keep building that relationship and get them to say “Yes!” to a networking or informational interview.
- Know your 30-second elevator pitch.
Be confident in stating what your personal brand brings to your target company. Writing it out and practicing what makes you unique in the workplace is critical to starting a dialog with a new professional contact.
- Have your networking résumé or tri-folded business card ready.
What’s a networking résumé, you ask? It’s a document that looks like your résumé, but is only one page, chock full of your top accomplishments. It also has a shortlist of your target companies, key decision-makers that you’d like to meet, and your social media profiles to make connecting easier. Some find this difficult to carry with them to events, so I recommend scaling that information way back into a card that’s easier to hand out. Resuminime.com is a great resource for these.
- Connect on LinkedIn.
Ask your new contact if they have a LinkedIn profile and if they would like to connect with you. This will allow you to easily communicate with them after your event, and stay at top-of-mind. Just make sure your profile sells you well!
- Politely request a one-on-one meeting.
Reassuring your connection that you aren’t asking for a job is critical. There are more tips here on using this technique to keep discussion with your new contact going. This meeting may lead to a formal interview, an interview with another person at the company, or leads at other companies that might have opportunities. Whatever the case may be, the key is to continue the conversation. Either in person, at events, via email, or on social media.
At your next networking event, imagine that the people you meet are part of the 79% that are likely to explore hiring you after you meet. Then, know your elevator pitch, have your networking résumé handy, connect on LinkedIn, and ask for the meeting. Follow those steps; how could they say no?
Thanks Free Digital Photos for the great picture.
Written by: Kristin S. Johnson
Tags: effective networking | Job Search | job search networking | LinkedIn | networking events | networking ideas | networking tools
Categories: Finding New Job