Professional networking is a necessary component of the job search and career advancement process today. It’s something you must do if you’re hoping to land yourself in a better place, employment-wise, now or in the near future.

Unfortunately, for many people out there, LinkedIn and Facebook are the sum total of their networking efforts. While that might suit your needs on a temporary basis, it’s awfully shortsighted for anyone interested in long-term career advancement. These are a few things you need to do in order to network effectively in today’s job market.

Arm Yourself with the Proper Networking Tools

Having the right tools is important no matter what you’re doing. You wouldn’t go snow skiing with a tennis racket, would you? Don’t even consider networking without these tools to help you accomplish your goals.

1)     Phone – Oddly enough, in today’s text messaging world, you actually need to talk on your phone in order to properly utilize it for networking. It may seem a little “old school” at first, but it’s so novel in today’s world that it will actually set you apart – in a good way. Take the time to reach out to companies you are focused on, with some cold calling to inquire about career opportunities.

2)     Handshake – The beauty of a good solid handshake is that you can only deliver it when dealing with someone face to face. It’s often even followed by an actual conversation rather than a sixty-second employment pitch. Try it out sometime, you might be shocked and amazed by how much more effective it is than a 140-character Twitter tweet.

3)     Peer Memberships – Your local community is chock-full of opportunities to network and find a new career. From industry associations to local business networking groups, getting your foot in the door is oftentimes being in the right place at the right time. Be sure to let others know about your expertise and that you are looking for a new career.

4)     Blog – The beauty of blogs is that they not only help you associate your name as an industry leader (provided, of course, that you provide an informative and accurate account of the information you share), but they also help you connect with other people in your field or industry who may be nearby or far away. These connections can help you find jobs and gain recognition in your industry on a global scale.

Follow Through with Follow-Up

The most painful process of the networking process, for many people, is following up with the people you meet along the way. However, failing to take this crucial step undoes all the good you’ve managed to do so far. You have to maintain and cultivate the contacts you make in order to make them pay off for you in the future.

One parting thought is this: you should always be sincere and in the moment while you’re attempting to build a better network among your peers. This will help them feel as though their needs are just as important as your own. It will also prevent them from feeling as though you’d rather be getting a root canal than getting to know them and the things that are important to them.  Remember these important tips and you’ll be well on your way to an impressive network to turn to when your employment outlook isn’t all that rosy. Contact the Jackson, MS staffing experts at TempStaff to help you expand your network and find you a job today!

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