Business, like so many things in life, is all about who you know. With that in mind, networking is an important skill for anyone, whether they're seeking a new job or not. But during a job search, that kind of effort can really pay off, so it's important for workers to make sure they're always making connections, and capitalizing on those relationships when they need to.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to attend industry events and make the rounds, according to Talent Egg. Often, professionals will expect some amount of networking, so anyone coming up and introducing themselves will likely be more than welcomed. However, there's a real advantage here for people who have already forged relationships with professionals who also know plenty of others in the business, because a round of introductions - and someone to vouch for them - can help improve their foothold.
In addition, knowing a little bit about the people who might be at the event - or at least their companies - can be a great icebreaker, the report said. Complimenting work they or their company has done will almost always ingratiate a job seeker to someone who might be able to help them get forward in a current or future job search.
As part of a specific search
However, if people are looking for a very specific job, networking can be a great resource, according to the Daily Nation. One of the best ways to make that initial connection if there's a clear intention in mind is to be direct - introducing yourself to an industry professional, either in person or online, and saying what you're looking for can help establish a job seeker as someone who is aiming for what they want. This, of course, needs to be done respectfully, but there's no shame in being assertive.
With that said, though, it's important for people to enter into such a conversation with reasonable expectations - i.e. those with entry-level experience shouldn't think they're qualified for a high-level management position - and to not be too aggressive, the report said. Both these things can be turnoffs, especially for people who are totally unfamiliar with you or your work.
Other things to consider
In addition, it's probably a good idea for those looking for a job to make sure they're presenting themselves as having something to offer, rather than coming across as looking for help, according to Attorney At Work. That doesn't mean being passive - far from it - but coming across as someone with talents that can help others in the business helps establish their credibility.
Furthermore, being able to forge a relatively small number of strong relationships with people in an industry is probably a better idea than having a bunch of relatively shallow, "one-way-street" relationships, and that's something to keep in mind as well, the report said.
In general, people in a given industry already know a number of people - such as current or former coworkers - who could help them find opportunities for further networking, if not job opportunities themselves.