Guidelines to networking
- Join organisations and let people know what you can do. Volunteer and become a resource that people can depend upon. It is by actively participating that others will notice you.
- Become a leader. Put yourself forward for 'visible' positions and positions of authority, which will allow you to demonstrate your current skills, master new ones, meet other important people and move ahead professionally and personally.
- Set networking goals. Give yourself a list of people that you wish to be introduced to and allocate a timescale to do this. Make sure that you spread your attention evenly among them and do not come on too strong.
- Cherrypick. When attending conferences, try to pick out two or three people to spend more time with and walk away with useful contacts. Don’t 'working the room', as ending up with 20 cards for people who do not know you will be of little help to you.
- Make sure people remember you. Every time you get introduced to someone, use a 'memory tag', a label that people can use to relate you to an occupation or company. This may seem strange to you at first, but if you are a name and a 'reason', this will be easier to remember than a name on its own.
- Take the time to ensure that you treat your new contacts politely. Aim to return all calls within 24 hours.
- Use their name when speaking to them either over the phone or in person. It has been proven that if your name is dropped into conversation regularly, you are more likely to listen to the rest of the conversation.
- If you want something, ask for it. What have you to lose? The worst that can happen is they say 'no', but equally they could say yes. Make sure that the question is specific, such as 'What I really need is a job. Do you know anyone in X's marketing department?' rather than ' I need a job, any job!'
- Last of all, make sure that you enjoy networking. Everyone is subconsciously doing it all the time, and you are going to be doing it for the rest of your life in both personal and professional circles. Use the information to help yourself, as you can be sure that others will use you as a contact to help them too.
Remember, it is the power of networking that builds small businesses into multinationals. If you follow our guidelines, you’ll find that you are an active and successful networker in no time and you might be surprised to see how many marketing jobs are filled in this way.
In the meantime, have a look at our current marketing jobs.