6 Tips to Help Improve Your Networking Skills

It’s true that your network is your net worth. When you network out of genuine curiosity in all environments, you learn things you otherwise may not have known. If you have a typical routine and see many of the same people each day, take the time to get to know them. You never know what opportunities you may uncover. Here are six tips to help improve your networking skills.   

 1. Introduce Yourself 

A great way to meet people is by introducing yourself. Wherever you are, walk up to someone, put out your hand and tell them your name. Talk about who you are and what you do. Ask the person to do the same. Put yourself out there and show who you truly are so you attract whom you need. 

 2. Make Friends   

Because friends do business with friends, focus on starting relationships. Discuss your goals, dreams, challenges and personal interests. Find commonality to bond over. If someone especially impresses you, ask them to coffee or lunch to continue your conversation. When you need an in at a company and you have an established relationship with an employee there, you’re more likely to find the value you’re looking for than if you simply picked up that person’s business card.    

 3. Listen 

Be unlike most people and attentively listen. Show you are truly interested in what they have to say. Given the opportunity to truly connect enhances that person’s view of you as a friend. People trust you and feel safe sharing who they are. You gain much more knowledge when you give someone your undivided attention. What you learn could lead to career opportunities down the road.    

4. Give Before Asking 

Always give before asking for something in return. When you meet someone, think about how you can help them reach a goal, make a connection or overcome an obstacle. Show your willingness to invest in them, add value to their life and build trust. If nothing comes from the relationship, be happy that you helped someone.   

5. Request an Introduction 

If you want to meet a person, ask the people you know if they know anyone who knows the person. When you find someone who does, ask them to introduce you. Because a warm lead is better than a cold one, you’re more likely to get in the door as a referral than a cold email or phone call. Be sure to reciprocate when possible.   

6. Keep your word 

Follow through on everything you say you’ll do. Your word and reputation are your biggest assets. If you promise to follow up, then follow up. If you say you’ll close a deal, uphold the deal to the highest standard. People make referrals to someone who’s reliable and always there. 

Network with a Chicago Employment Agency 

Find your next role by networking with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Our extensive networking and recruitment programs help us place all levels of accounting and finance candidates. Contact our leading finance recruiters today! 

Adjust Your Mindset to Find Success in Networking

Most people think of “What’s in it for me” when they think about networking, especially when it has something to do with finding a job. This is a natural thought, because the end result needs to be a job and a means to survive. However, a mindset shift of “How can I help others” will really have more long-term positive effects than the short-term focus of yourself.

Here’s how to develop a positive mindset about networking, and greater success with the job search process.

1. Think about what you can offer to someone else.

It’s easy to engage in networking activity with the thought of only getting something out of it. But if you go to a networking event or start networking with others online, it will become very transparent if this is your only goal. Instead, go to a networking mode with the thought that you would like to find ways to serve other. Think about the value that you have, and how you can help others rather than take from them.

2. Consider all the connections you have and how they can help others.

Also consider the connections that you have within your social, professional, and educational networks. Chances are, there are people who may complement each other and are worth introducing to each other. Use your networks in a more positive way and you can expect that others will think of you when they have someone to refer. This can work in your favor during a job search.

3. Develop a professional brand that’s above your immediate needs.

It’s easy to go about developing a personal brand that is only about your career or your passions. But this does not necessarily serve you as a job seeker. Instead, think about ways that you can develop a brand that appeals to others and their needs. This is a similar approach that sales professionals use when trying to attract prospects – you must speak their language in order to be effective as a networker.

4. Get outside of your comfort zone about networking – try new methods.

Networking is not just about sitting at a computer behind social profiles. It’s about stepping outside of your comfort zone and attending local networking events, business mixers, and industry conferences. It’s about volunteering in your community and giving something back. Learn to develop a strong pitch for yourself and again think about how you can serve others. The people that you meet will be happy to learn about you, if you put yourself out there.

At Casey Accounting & Finance Resources, we focus on your area of expertise to find the right job opening for your skill set. Contact our award-winning team today to partner with top financial recruiters in Chicago.