During good economic times and bad, the number one way to get hired is through networking. Networking is not about "schmoozing" or selling someone on the idea of hiring you. Rather, it's about purposefully and gracefully asking peers for help, advice, input and contacts - and offering value in return.
"Networking makes most people feel good about themselves. It boosts their self-esteem to connect people with opportunities - especially when those opportunities are hard to come by - and makes them feel important," says Ford R. Myers, career coach, speaker and author of "Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring" (John Wiley & Sons, http://www.getthejobbook.com).
Myers suggests the following 10 ways job seekers can maximize career networking in a tight job market:
1. Schedule face-to-face meetings with your top-tier contact list - people who believe in you, understand your value, and are in the best position to help you.
2. Get at least 3-5 names from each person with whom you speak (for further networking).
3. Be confident and purposeful.
4. Meet people in neutral locations - maybe over a cup of coffee, lunch or breakfast.
5. Bring a pre-prepared list of questions and ask if it's okay to jot down notes during the discussion.
6. Establish good rapport by getting the other person to talk about himself/herself.
7. Follow up shortly after the meeting for feedback, more contact names, information and guidance.
8. Keep the conversation positive and focus on the future, not the past.
9. Don't make excuses or sound apologetic.
10. Always send a thank you note immediately after your networking meeting.
"When done properly, at the end of every networking conversation, the other person should feel genuinely glad you contacted them and feel enriched by the experience. Networking always pays big dividends in the long run," adds Myers.
For more information and other useful tips for achieving career success, visit http://www.getthejobbook.com.
[Copyright (C) 2013, Career Potential, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it includes the following attribution: Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Coach and author of "Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring." Download your free bonuses now at http://www.careerbookbonuses.com.]