You are almost stars on Facebook and you are a superstar among your friends. You post a photograph or a comment and count numbers of likes and comments. You may be happy and many of you have already mentioned networking as your skills and hobbies. Personally I have heard to mention many people in Interviews that he/she loves making friends and networking through Facebook.
What a point! Who are they, you are making friends? Is they really worth in your professional life?
As an engineer how much value a doctor or lawyer friends can help you out to get a job?
Networking is a two way strategic process to create your own circle who can add value to your professional life, it can be job reference, business initiative, suggestion on any topic or career or it can be participating in a debate you are interested in.
You need to create a group around you which belongs to your dream career path. Like if you are interested in Market Research, bring all market research people around you or if you are interested in supply chain then what a big difference a creative media person can make in your career path?
Maximum people do this mistake. They are confused about their career about their interest give priority to salary and become aggressive to increase the number of contacts in their professional network like LinkedIn. Don’t forget classmates are always too much important for any network, because they personally know you and have a good knowledge about your capabilities. Any time their recommendations are valuable for your profile.
Networking can be done in two ways, Offline and Online. There are so many networking events happening in your city every day. Many of them you can find in your interest. Take out your cards and distribute them with a corporate style (not applicable for freshers of course . If you have nothing to show in your cards, don’t go for it. Ask questions, discuss with a coffee or a red wine and of course ask for a visiting card. These people are very nice and don’t hesitate to answer if you have a nice out of box query about the topic, the event was actually. May be some other day in a different event you can meet the same person and can say a comfortable “Hi!”
When you are going for a virtual platform, you need a strong base over it. Really I must say, when you are thinking about professional networking, LinkedIn is the most reliable platform to create a difference. If you are clear about your dream, be smart enough to enrich your contacts by adding real heroes of your industry. Each connection in your LinkedIn profile is your lead. You need to follow each lead before you approach them, their career graph, previous experience, sharing, comments and maximum of it.
Now take a look how to be in LinkedIn..
1: Make your detailed resume on LinkedIn, include everything you have done in your life which can add value to your career. It can be your freelancing job, projects and of course if you have any online link for your project, add it.
2: Skills: find out your strong points and get recommended by your professors, friends and colleagues
3: Join groups of your interest; you can find so many like-minded people there, who will be happy to help you.
4: State your career objective clearly in summary section.
5: Follow companies about their job openings and entry level executives’ experience and common skill sets so that you can have a better idea of desired candidate profile for the position. It will always be a plus point for any interview.
Various job portals are main source to know about the company hiring. If you follow a job portal aggressively, you can get list of few companies which keep on hiring round the year. Get the contacts of advertiser and make a call to HR. Maximum time HR responses are like, “Send me your CV at….., If we find your profile suitable, we will get back to you”. Make sure you have given most of your profile headlines before hanging up the call and the HR can remember your name in time of next follow up call. For a long term planning check out those HR managers on LinkedIn, it will keep you updated about their changes in designation and organization so that you can approach more effectively.
The best way is a combination of these three. Send each relevant person an invitation you have been met up.
On LinkedIn, Today you can have real time articles, case studies and discussions by many pundits of Industry. So, go for it. It’s not Facebook; it is always LinkedIn, your networking platform can give you a professional touch.
How Networking and Leadership is related?
Leader is among few people and a leader is called more effective when the network is huge and the person has a good influence over it. You are not a born leader so this process of being a leader needs practice.
Here are few ways you can enrich your leadership practices.
1: Listen carefully and speak worthy: The main criteria of being a leader is you need to speak well and to the point. It’s your presentation skill which can take you to a new high of your life.
2: Arrange networking events: You can get lots of sponsors and people to work with you if you have a good vision about arranging a networking event or on some other issues. Invite people and surprise yourself by executing the event a successful one.
3: Go for online platforms, speak up, make videos, pictures share it. Write blogs, create own Facebook fan pages and post your blogs to get a higher traffic and more number of followers. Blogs are too much popular for US and European countries. You will have international followers for your own words. Do not copy and paste. Put your own words and own views and publish on a topic you know very well or of your interest.
Or participate in LinkedIn group discussions. Remember, this process is very risky and you need enough knowledge about the topic. It’s not Facebook, only ‘like’ ‘super like’ or ‘OMG’ has no value, rather such irrelevant comments create negative impression about you.
These practices are nothing but branding of your own. More number of clicks on your profile and the more probabilities to get noticed by your networks.
Learn to put your own value and to execute a process. Networking, Regular communication or follow up can increase your visibility but you need to have a good knowledge about the subject, industry trend and example.
So, enlighten yourself with your networking & be optimistic about your leadership skill. Come on, It’s time to make your dreams come true. All the Best!!!