Many people view networking as something you use when you need a job; however, networking should be a mutually beneficial system of connections that includes, friends, family, people you went to school with, people who share your hobbies, and anyone else you come in contact with. All of these people know people who know people. (You get the picture.) The one networking resource you should use before you ever go job hunting is your connection with people.
4 Ways to Boost Your Networking Resources
Be There for Your Network Before You Need Them
Whether you realize it or not, you are your best networking resource, and to be successful at networking you have to honestly want to stay connected to others in your network and be willing to help them. The key is showing a real interest in the people in your network, asking about their families, keeping in touch, and offering them both emotional support and information in their time of need will.
By giving of your time and help before you need help finding a job, you will build a strong foundation of people who will be eager to not only give you job leads, but who may well put in a good word for you as well.
Do Some Volunteer Work
When you volunteer, others get to see your work ethic and get to know you on a completely different level. Whether you volunteer at a school, the library, a soup kitchen, or for a community project, you will be meeting new people and allow people to see some of your work ethics and perhaps how you problem solve, as well as how well you work with others. It also shows those in your network that you are willing to give as well as receive.
Pass on Information About Jobs to Others
When you are not looking for a job, you will still hear about jobs that may not be right for you, but are right for others in your network. Share this information with them and if you are in a position to do so, then offer to make an introduction. The more active you are in your network before you need to seek help finding a job, the more people who will be willing to help you.
People Hire and Recommend People They Know and Like
The truth is when it comes to hiring, the people who do the hiring need to be sure that they hire the right people for the job, so they either hire people they personally know and trust, or go the word of others who they trust. Building trust with people in your network and showing them you are someone they can depend on will stand you in good stead when it comes time for you look at taking the next step in your career. When you allow people to really get to know you, build trust with them, because that trust is important when looking for a job.Remember that how you treat others will be your best networking resource when job hunting, so take the time to help build a strong network that benefits everyone.