Networking can be a difficult and complex endeavor, but you can make the job easier by breaking it up into daily tasks. Some of these tasks will focus on building your offline network, while others will use the Internet or involve the preparation you need to make your networking effective. All of them will help you get hired in the long run, so consider incorporating the following daily networking tasks into your job-search routine:
If you have professional contacts on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, take some time every day to interact with them. Respond to what they’ve posted. Wish them happy birthday and ask what they’re up to. You can also sign up to receive daily e-mail digests of your contacts’ activities or set up a service like Newsle that will ping you when a contact’s name appears in an article online.
Raise your profile
Many people try to connect with the featured speakers at events like Chamber of Commerce meetings, trade shows, and job expos. Therefore, speaking at these gatherings is one of the best ways to grow your network. Prepare a presentation that highlights your expertise in a subject area, and then reach out to event organizers who might be interested in your topic.
Be open about your situation
Every time someone asks “How’s it going?” you have an opportunity to get help with your job search. Rather than responding to with “Great!” Say, “Great! Still looking for work.” Over time, you’ll build a web of contacts who have your job search in their minds, and that might lead to an opportunity down the road.
Prepare for success
Spend time every day working on your answers to common job-search questions. You might want to make a list of things about which you might be asked, such your ideal job or your employability, and then tackle a few at random each day. The more practice you have talking about yourself, the better prepared you’ll be to impress your contacts and take advantage of networking opportunities.