Wednesday, May 15, 2013

5 Things Your Networking Contacts Should Know

Whether it is in-person or online, networking for a job can be a very overwhelming task. Think about it: You're talking to a bunch of people you probably don't know very well with hundreds of thoughts running through your head, all while trying to make the best impression possible.

No wonder so many job seekers prefer to avoid the process altogether.

Networking might not be the most enjoyable thing in the world but it's also one of the most important. To paraphrase a popular saying, it's not what you know that's most important, it's who you know. So the next time you turn down an invite to a network event or avoid LinkedIn like the plague, take a step back and realize the opportunities you are missing. Then, take a deep breath and boldly go into the fray.

The most important part of networking is making sure you are sharing the right information. Here are five things you absolutely must share with your contacts:

  • Your contact information and a short statement describing your skills (your "elevator pitch").
  • An anecdote that explains why you are a master in your particular field.
  • Any projects you on which you are currently working.
  • An interest in their field of work. Remember, networking can't be a one-way street.
  • Any other information that will help you stand out from the crowd.

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