Find your perfect career marketing strategy, with Julie Walraven!

10 Tips to Better Networking for Job Seekers & Entrepreneurs

Networking can be confusingAs a career marketing professional, I coach clients and teach college classes on the importance of networking in your job search. Today we recognize networking comes in many forms and includes both online and in-person networking.

For the past three years, I have expanded and experimented with my online networking skills and definitely grew a healthy and helpful network.

In-person networking in my life has been largely ignored. In 2013, I decided it was time to change that so I spent January making an effort to get out there and network much more.

My January networking experiment:

  • January 12: Launch of new Marketing focused networking group.
  • January 24: Entrepreneurial Roundtable promoted by RelyLocal, a monthly networking event. My first visit.
  • January 30: Christian Business Leaders Group, monthly networking and leadership group. I attended since 2008.
  • January 31: Thrive Lunch, weekly lunch networking group that moves from restaurant to restaurant. My first visit though I have known about the group for a few years.

10 Tips to Better Networking

  1. Decide that you will make the effort to network. Funny as that might seem, I am not at loss for opportunities but I was reluctant to go.
  2. Find a friend. Since we are a one car family, I use it as an excuse. But it is so much easier to go with a friend and amazingly, no one had a problem with being the driver. If you don’t want to go alone, find a friend.
  3. Bring business cards or other information about who you are or what you do. Even a job seeker can have a business card with name and contact information. A portfolio or briefcase with your information in it (resume for job seekers or fliers for entrepreneurs) will be handy if someone asks.
  4. Plan your short intro (elevator speech) in advance and tailor it for the group you are with.
  5. Real networking isn’t speed dating. Don’t feel you need to speak with everyone in the room but strive to make one or two new contacts at every event you attend.
  6. Though I don’t recommend you to run around just collecting business cards, if you have the opportunity to share business cards around the table or room, take them for future reference.
  7. If you are a story-teller (guilty), remember that active conversation is key at networking events. If you are finding yourself telling your life story or long paragraphs, think briefer.
  8. Be interested in others. Truly listen. For people who are nervous about attending events, remember others are too.
  9. Don’t stick to a clique. When you start attending more events, you will meet people from earlier ones. You certainly can interact with them and even get to know people better but strive to expand your network with at least one new person at each event.
  10. Follow-up. Now you can take that real-life experience to online. Connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ or wherever you are comfortable.
  11. Bonus: Determine to connect with at least one person you met at a networking event in a one-on-one. Lunch, breakfast, coffee, or even a phone or Skype call. Expand the relationship.

I will continue to share what I learn and have learned this year. Do you have more tips on better networking?

To get your job search working for you, simply click here!

Photo Credit

6 Responses to 10 Tips to Better Networking for Job Seekers & Entrepreneurs

  1. […] ask me all the time how I know so many people. I keep my eyes open. Whether in person or online, I look for opportunities. Often I look for opportunities to help, it tends to come naturally to me […]

Client Testimonials

Interested in working with us? Check out some of our client testimonials below!

Global Marketing Director

Fortune 500 Company, Pennsylvania

“Hey Julie, Just a short note to say thanks for your help with my resume. It was a great help for me in landing a couple of opportunities that led to offers.”

Senior Vice President

Banking, Maryland

“It has been a whirlwind since you completed my resume, a lot of changes to the organization in light of the merger, a busy market, and as well a lot of folks making decisions to leave versus stay.

For me, an offer was made that I will be accepting. I can tell you my resume has been met with rave reviews so I trust you implicitly, have recommended you, and will be a customer for life as I may need to re-engage you.”

Office Manager

New York, NY

I wanted to find someone who will work with me live, so I can explain all my responsibilities and accomplishments to a literate professional, who will then be able to put it into right words and create a “WOW” resume for me.

Next day I woke up and for some reason my gut told me to work with Julie, so I called her, and boy was my gut right. I am so happy with my new resume and cover letter, I have a second breath for job search. We worked live on Skype all the time, I could see exactly what she was doing, and I couldn’t ask for a more personalized experience for my money.

Executive Vice President, Marketing

Boston, MA

I wanted to reach out and let you know I landed my next exciting opportunity! On March 28, I'll be joining ABC Company as their EVP Marketing. The fit couldn't feel more perfect! I'm so excited and can hardly wait to get started. Thanks so much for everything you've done to help make me look good! :) It worked. (again!)

Career Change

Transportation Industry, New York, NY

"My first walk-in transportation company (ABC Freight) and my first job opportunity! I can't thank you enough!"
His goal - the transportation industry. He was ready to leave a successful career selling Manhattan real estate to follow his passion!

Instructional Designer

University, Wisconsin

“I highly recommend Julie as a professional career management consultant. Her ability to assess her clients needs and desires, and then creatively collaborate with them to create an overall digital profile that truly represents “who they are” is amazing.

It was time to give my professional profile some pizzaz, and create a professional online presence, and the first person that I thought of was Julie. After working with Julie as a professional, I can say that the service Julie provides is nothing short of the way to (as her web site states) “find your perfect career marketing strategy”. Give her personal face-to-face strategy a try!”