A strong network can help you uncover new opportunities for career advancement, business partnerships, collaborations, and personal growth. Moreover, a good network connects you with people from different backgrounds and industries; you can tap into a wealth of expertise and insights. Be it in an educational space or professional arena, each one of us must know how to make more connections that have the potential to bring about advancement opportunities.
Let’s talk a little more about it in detail.
Why is building a network important?
Here are a few top reasons why networking strategies are important:
- Resume review and suggestions from industry professionals
Industry professionals who have experience hiring and reviewing resumes can provide you with objective feedback on your resume. They can offer insights on how to better tailor your resume to the specific industry or job you’re applying for, and identify areas where you can improve.
- Information about new job opportunities
This is another huge purpose of networking. By connecting with people who work at companies you’re interested in, you can learn about job openings before they are advertised publicly. This can give you a head start on the competition and increase your chances of getting hired.
- Information about trending skills that must be acquired
Your connections can provide you with valuable insights into the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in your field. For example, when I meet freshers or even professionals looking to upskill, I suggest them to get certified with ICBI’s soft skills training course because I know soft skills training is critical for everything from interviewing and working with professionals to managing a team or an entire company. Similarly, experts from different industries can guide you on which skills can give you a competitive edge as per industry requirements.
- Discovery of changes in an industry
Industry insiders have their finger on the pulse of the latest developments in your field. These connections can provide you with valuable insights into changes that are happening in your industry so you can continue updating your profile and skills.
- Work improvement recommendations
Networking gives you the opportunity to receive feedback on your work from industry professionals. This feedback can help you identify areas where you can improve. Moreover, you can also get some valuable recommendations to make improvements in the right direction.
Tips for Building a Network
Now comes the important question – how to make more connections that add value to your career? We have some super important tips:
- Set networking goals
Start by clarifying your objectives for networking. Are you looking for a new job? Do you want to learn about new skills or technologies? Do you want to expand your professional network? Identifying your objectives can help you focus your networking efforts and set meaningful goals.
- Craft a convincing pitch
An elevator pitch can make or break the game. So, begin your pitch with a compelling hook that grabs the listener’s attention. After this, highlight the value you bring to your industry or profession. And finally, state your objective for networking and make a clear request for how the listener can help you achieve your goals.
- Reach out to your current connections
Your former classmates, colleagues, mentors, etc., can help you connect to the right people and expand your network in the right direction. All you need to do is reach out to them and ask for being connected to people who may benefit you. Common links like these can be useful and help you enter fruitful networks quickly.
- Join local and national organizations
Joining an organization can be a great way to meet other professionals in your field and learn about the best practices and trends. So, join a relevant organization and consider volunteering for a committee or project. This can be a great way to build relationships with other members and demonstrate your skills and expertise.
- Use social media to build connections
Using social media is an easy yet effective way to build connections. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are great examples. You can engage with the content posted by the accounts you follow. Also, make sure to like, comment, and share their posts, and participate in online discussions. This can help you build relationships with other professionals in your industry and establish yourself as an active and engaged member.
- Attend industry events
Meet ups and networking events are a great way to connect with professionals in your industry who share similar interests. Similarly, attending conferences and trade shows related to your industry can help you meet new people. So, make sure to keep an eye out for such events.
Students can get internship and job opportunities through their networks. Similarly, professionals can get career advancement opportunities through their connections. So, make sure to keep expanding your network with the right people who can support you in some way or the other in your professional journey.