Trying to establish meaningful connections with people during face to face networking sessions can be uncomfortable but online networking seems to be even more perplexing and angst-inspiring. Leveraging platforms like LinkedIn to build a network leaves many confused and results in people giving up.
Take a step back and think about the opportunity online networking provides. Shopping in the digital age has made products and services that we never knew were available accessible. Using the internet to connect with people can provide the same benefit. Due to distance or a number of other reasons, everyone is not available to you for a face to face meeting.
Joining groups on LinkedIn and other platforms allow you to tap into perspectives from people across the globe. Building networking strategies that work for today’s environment is important and demonstrates your ability to evolve and adapt to a changing world.
Mentioning networking seems to set the fear of God in most people. I have talked to many people who describe networking as “uncomfortable” and “awkward”. Statements like “I hate schmoozing” are indicators that people are approaching networking from a very inauthentic place.
I like this Fast Company article about leveraging emotional intelligence when you network because it provides some pretty accessible tips for navigating crowds. As you read through the article, remember, authenticity is the key to building and maintaining a network.
You can run interview questions all day long with experienced professionals but understanding what interviewers are actually trying to gauge with their questions is truly preparing yourself.
How do you prepare to respond to this question: How do you feel our company/organization could be better?
The only way to respond to this type of question is to have actually done research about the company? You have to know how the company or organization operates, what the main products or programs are, information about the industry overall, and who the target audience is.
In your response:
- Be honest but don’t be overly critical of the company. Remember, you want to work there.
- Provide actionable recommendations in your response. Think about highlighting talents and skills that you will bring to the position.
I know it feels super gangsta being the only one in the office who has mastered using the fax, printer, copy machine combo (if you don’t get the nod to Office Space, do better and watch that movie on whatever streaming service has it immediately).
Before you embark on your search for the movie, ask yourself two questions.
- Have you only included relevant, 21st-century skills on your resume?
- Does your resume convey who you are as a professional and all that you have to offer?
You are wasting space on your resume if you are listing your ability to use Microsoft Office or be a team player. These are skills that are expected of any professional in the workforce today.
Use the valuable space on your resume to demonstrate your ability to be a leader or provide excellent customer service (inside and outside of your organization) using professional accomplishments that required those skills.
Check your resume for these out of date job skills that may be clogging your resume and adding no value. Contact me for help to refresh an old resume.
No need to add humor here, these stories from recruiters are terrible and funny all at the same time. You may know that you would never make one of these mistakes but are you sure you are not submitting a throwaway cover letter?
Here’s a quick cover letter rule. Not submitting one is an epic no-no. You are skipping an opportunity to tell companies a bit more about yourself (such as why you want this job) in a narrative format.
Your current cover letter may not be perfect or as clever as you like, but it is a chance to answer some relevant questions and provide information, not on your resume.
Need help developing a cover letter, contact me for assistance.
The work world can truly feel like a stroll through Oz (as in The Wizard of) and building and maintaining a network can be one of the most confusing elements.
Check out these tips for effectively networking during events.