by Krista H, ResumeEdge Certified Writer -
Career fairs, interviews, and one-on-one ice-breaker conversations are all high-pressure situations with potential for creating new networking relationships. Once you have a polished resume from one of our experts, you need to continually connect with people inside and outside of your everyday environment. Stretch your social self and stay current on your networking at all times. Here are some tips to keep you going throughout 2013.
Networking is not an easy or natural skill for everyone, but it is something you can practice to improve your demeanor and performance. The best way to get started is to meet new people for the first time. Whether at a party, in a long bank teller line, or at a coffee shop, you can find many opportunities to practice your first impressions and be friendly.
The company already knows you want the job; that’s why you applied., But please, have something to talk about other than “I really want this job.” You need to stand out from the other candidates who look the same or better on paper. If you can make a personal connection with the hiring manager or recruiter, he or she will remember you and call you for the next round of interviews. Therefore, ask questions, and get recruiters and hiring managers to talk about themselves. Find a common hobby, their passion behind the work, or the reason why they love their company culture. Be the friendliest person that the hiring authority has met and they will be asking you to join their team.
Don’t Forget to Share
Part of networking is giving as well as receiving. If you currently have your dream job, then keep networking so you can help others. Then when you need professional assistance, you can call upon those same network connections for related advice. If you don’t help your network in times of need, they have no reason to assist you.
Utilize Social Media
At least 91% of recruiters look for a social media presence. If you aren’t actively posting positive information about yourself, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. There are so many tools on the internet to advertise, use them. Comment on company blogs, join a LinkedIn group, or follow a passion on Facebook. You don’t have to do a lot, just enough to be noticed. A company flew me across the country for an interview within a week of one Linkedin posting. It really works.
Always Keep your Resume Updated
Don’t be afraid to make minor tweaks when you apply for one job versus the other. If you are unsure if the language you are using matches the recruiter’s needs, try this: trade resumes with a friend for 10 seconds. Your friend is your eye-tracking software and will tell you what top five, or so, words catch the eye. If that’s not what you want your first impression to be, change it before you deliver your resume to the actual recruiter.
Remember the Basics
First impressions matter – people make decisions about you in the first 2.6 seconds. Make certain that you have the confidence, the practiced skills, and a great resume to begin the networking experience. Some additional highlights to remember are:
- Your voicemail box message should be professional and polite.
- Always give a smile and a firm handshake.
- Last impressions are important, too, so always follow up with thank-you letters.
- Dress professionally for the job you want, not the one you have.
Feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of creating or updating your resume? Consider working with a professional resume writer. At ResumeEdge, our certified writers excel in 40+ industries. They know what presentation works best for each unique situation and how to craft content to catch the hiring manager’s eye so you can land the job you’re looking for.