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Your skills, qualifications and experience are three of the most important criteria for obtaining a job but having a network of contacts in the right places could also prove valuable. They may be able to tell you about a new job opportunity before it is advertised or they might be able to give you a recommendation for a role, which helps to seal the deal. Staying in touch with ex-colleagues is one way to build your network so always leave on good terms.
Networking in person
Before you attend a networking event, think about what kind of conversation starters you might use and what questions to ask fellow attendees. Planning what to wear is also a good idea so you can ensure you are dressed to impress.
Whilst you’re at the event, try and be aware of your body language and how it might influence people’s perception of you. Maintaining good eye contact and speaking with confidence will help create a professional impression.
If appropriate, swap business cards or contact details with fellow attendees so that you can keep in touch. Follow up with these contacts after the event to stay informed of industry news and opportunities.
Social networking is about more than just LinkedIn. You should also consider using Twitter, Facebook and other social channels to seek information about people, companies and industry news. By ‘liking’ and ‘connecting’ with different people in relevant industries, you can also stay informed of new job roles.
Social networking can help you gain knowledge of a company and find out what types of people they are looking for. You can also find out about key events where you will have the opportunity to meet recruiters face to face.