Improve Your Networking Skills! 5 Key Steps!!

Improve Your Networking!!

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your title is, networking is a critical skill for professional success and career advancement.  Building powerful relationships with others in your field can help you to stand out, both as an individual and as a company.  If you’re an employee or candidate, those relationships might help you to land a great new job.  If you’re a hiring manager, those relationships could allow you to identify and hire the company’s next great employee—or perhaps help you find a new position, as well.

So, how can you get started?  Below are five tips for improving your networking skills.

Tip #1—Don’t rely on your computer.

Sure, (just about) everybody is participating in social media these days, and maybe you’re a LinkedIn whiz.  However, the Internet will only take you so far.  To truly maximize the effectiveness of networking, it will eventually have to be conducted on a face-to-face basis.

Tip #2—Make networking an acquired behavior.

For some people, networking does not come easily, and that’s okay.  As with everything else, you’ll become better over time.  The key is to not become discouraged to the point where you quit.  However, if you’re persistent, not only will you improve, but networking will also become a habit.

Tip #3—Prepare your personal “elevator pitch.”

Your “elevator pitch” is your 60-second speech about who you are, what you do, and the unique value that you offer.  The best way to hone this speech is to practice, practice, practice.  The good news is that if you follow tip #2, you’ll already be doing this.

Tip #4—Understand the people with whom you’re networking.

If you’re attending a networking event, be sure to conduct some research beforehand if you can.  There is usually plenty of information online about people (including on LinkedIn), and this information will better prepare you to engage them in a meaningful way.

Tip #5—Pay more attention to influential contacts.

Networking is like anything else: you must focus your energy on those areas most likely to provide the results you’re seeking.  It’s advisable to segment your contacts into different categories based upon their influence and then interact with those groups differently in accordance with your categorization.

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Do your networking skills pass the test?  Do you need some assistance in improving your networking persona?  If so, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services.  If you are interested in learning more about finance and accounting industry opportunities, contact a Finance/Accounting Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group.  Or, if you are interested in attorney or other roles in the legal industry, contact a Legal Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Legal Group.

Jacqueline Hill, Esq.

This post was written by .

Jacqueline Hill is a partner at Lexacount Search, where she places top senior-level and other legal talent with law firms and corporate legal departments across the United States. She has been writing about careers, lawyers, attorney professional development, and the legal industry for more than a decade. She can be reached at [email protected] or 215-740-0104, extension 101.

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