How to network and connect with key industry players

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Building a strong network is critical in finding career success. 

Studies show that 85 percent of all jobs are filled through networking

Your network can be made up of a variety of personal and professional relationships, including present and former colleagues, supervisors, advisors, professors, alumni, friends, and industry professionals. 

Creating a strong network might seem complicated, but building meaningful relationships will take effort, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. 

Here are some excellent networking tips to ensure you are meeting the right people. 

Attend Industry Events

Make sure you make an effort to attend networking type events or meetups in your chosen field or industry. You will be in your element, conversing with like-minded people with who you can talk about your particular area of expertise. 

These face-to-face interactions will widen your network and create deeper, more meaningful impressions than an introductory email alone. 

Create a Strong Online Presence

In today’s world, it’s likely fellow industry connections will look you up online to discover more about your professional background and interests. Just as you would in-person, make sure to put your best and most professional foot forward. When networking via social media, stick to professional sites, such as LinkedIn, and keep your profiles accurate, up-to-date, and complete. 

Include a professional photo, personal summary, and an overview of your skills to give potential connections a better sense of your personality, abilities, goals, and how you might add value to their network. When sending connection requests, personalize your message and provide context—don’t merely rely on LinkedIn’s default message. If you have a commonality, such as a mutual connection or a shared alma mater, make sure to mention it in your note. Identifying shared interests can go a long way to establishing more meaningful relationships.

Engage with Content

Keep in touch with your connections by sharing relevant content you think they’ll find useful, such as an informative blog post, inspiring TED talk, provocative industry whitepaper, or a local networking event. In your note, tell them why it made you think of them and how it might provide value.

Similarly, if you see one of your connections mentioned in the news, post a comment or send them a message acknowledging his or her achievement and value, he or she brings to their role. You can also comment on or tag appropriate individuals in articles your industry connections are sharing on social media, letting them know you’re thinking of them while positioning yourself as a thought leader. Engaging with helpful content over time will help your connections see you as a critical member of the industry and someone worth knowing.

Communicate Regularly

As you continue to build your network, it’s essential to maintain it by communicating with your connections regularly. Don’t feel like you need to connect on a schedule, but make sure you touch base at least a couple of times a year. It can be as simple as a LinkedIn note or cordial email, thanking them for an introduction they made or for advice they offered that led to a positive outcome. If a connection updates his or her job title on LinkedIn, take advantage of the opportunity to reach out and say, “congratulations.”

Connecting with your network doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Just remember to keep your messages authentic and focused on maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship. Following these tips can help you build and maintain a robust professional network that will serve you well throughout your career.

Here at BullsEye Recruitment, Trevor Johnson, a Certified Coach and Behavioural Consultant will provide you with a personalized approach that will give you the skills, resources, and support you need to realize your potential and take your career to the next level. 

Book your free 45-minute consultation here

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