Networking, Professional Appearance and Social Media

 

This week I did a presentation on Personal Branding to a job search networking group.  Prior to the presentation, I sat with the group as they engaged in a structured networking exercise. As I listened to each individual comment on how long they had been out of work and what they were looking for, I noticed than many of them were engaging in behaviors that were not to their advantage. I share some thoughts on how to participate in these groups and network in general:

 

§  Dress for Success: Half the people at our table were dressed very casually, to the point of actually being sloppy and unprofessional. You NEVER know who you will meet at one of these events and who they know. Put your best foot forward.

 

§  Social Media Only Works if you do Something with It: LinkedIn and other social media sites are only going to work if you do something with them. Just joining these sites and being passive is not going to help you build/expand your network. Invite others you know, join groups, express your brand and get recommendations.

 

§  Be Clear About Your Job Search Target: When someone says, “What are you looking for?”, be as specific as possible. State the industry in which you would like to work, cite some sample companies and provide job titles that you would be a good fit for.

 

§  Get Business Cards: At structured networking events, don’t assume that other people will have pens/paper to jot down what you are interested in. Make it easy for them to help you and get business cards.

 

§  Follow-up after the event: I met several individuals at the event whom I connected with and not one of them has followed up with me. Continue to build and expand the network after the event.