Have you ever heard the saying “It’s not the grades you make, but the hands you shake?” JG Carver (ITAC Partner & Vice President) and Mike Sullentrup (Senior IT Recruiter) would agree that this saying rings relatively true.
“Just network,” JG advised job seekers. “Even if it puts you in an uncomfortable situation continue to network and build your own personal brand.”
Mike emphasized that networking opens the door to opportunities you may not have originally been interested in. “Be open to conversations. You never know what that’s going to yield,” Mike said. “You never really know what’s behind the curtains until you open up to a conversation. I’ve known people to take jobs that they never thought they would and they’re happy. So, just be open because it doesn’t hurt to grow your network and learn more about things.”
Networking is critical to building a successful career. Whether you’re searching for your first job or residing in a corner office, it will give you a competitive edge throughout each stage of your career.
If networking isn’t your forte, check out these tips:
- Be yourself. Determine a networking style that works for you and don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be comfortable in how you connect to others to put your best foot forward.
- Network anywhere and everywhere. While many events are held for networking purposes, you can network wherever you go—holiday parties, weddings, sporting events, etc. Look for opportunities to network in every area of your life.
- Perfect your introduction. Introduce yourself in a confident and personal manner that establishes a personal connection with others. Think elevator pitch with a personal spin.
- Be prepared. Come up with questions that generate conversations and help you learn about others. This will help break the ice if you find yourself in an awkward silence.
- Build genuine connections. It’s important that your goal in meeting new people isn’t self-serving. Start conversations with a willingness to learn and serve others. People want to feel that you are genuinely interested in them and what they do.
- Use social media. Connecting with people online is another great way to network. Use LinkedIn and other social media platforms to your advantage.
ITAC can help you build your network and make connections for you. If you’re interested in working with a recruiter, contact ITAC today!