Expanding Your Professional Networks Fast


 

NetworkingNetworking is a critical skill in today’s fast-paced recruitment world. In many cases, taking advantage of an opportunity can be a matter of simply knowing the right people.

Yet while great personal vision and quality interactions are the backbone of networking, it can still be a challenge to try and grow your professional networks when all your obvious tactics have been exhausted.

If you do want to grow your professional networks significantly, here are a few, great ideas to get you started:

Tap Into Old Contacts   

If you have been in the corporate space for a long time, you may have many contacts from the past that perhaps exist in your email address list (or even in your old address books!). Although you may have connected with those you currently stay in touch with, there could still be old contacts in your lists that can make excellent networking connections.

If you have an email list, you can review these old contacts to see who you would like to add to your networks now or you can simply import your lists and let your social media site find the contacts for you. LinkedIn, for example, offers this feature. Once your list uploaded, you can add people in bulk or simply ‘untick’ anyone you don’t want to connect with.

Transfer Your Connections  

The great thing about being a part of one online network is that you can leverage your contacts to grow your connections on another. So, if you add someone to your Google Plus circles (or vice versa), you can add them on LinkedIn as well. Or if you’ve got a friend on Facebook who you also do a little bit of business with, you can add them to your other networks, like LinkedIn and Twitter.

You never know who might end up being a valuable connection or who may be able to introduce you to someone, so leveraging your contacts in this way can be very beneficial in the long term. At the very least, make sure you connect with the majority of professionals you consider important via LinkedIn. 

Join Groups 

Joining groups is also a fantastic way to grow your professional networks and ensures that you connect with other executives who share your interests and expertise. LinkedIn Groups are probably the best place to start, as are Communities on Google Plus.

You won’t want to instantly add everyone that you encounter in the group, but once you have established a few, good relationships, make sure these people become part of your personal network. Of course, if you participate in groups regularly and offer insightful information and opinions, you may find others will invite you to connect with them as well. 

Tell Others Where You Are At 

Chances are, you probably have a few, good connections in the ‘real’ world (like colleagues) who you haven’t connected with extensively online. This may be because it is not instantly obvious where they can find you online.

You can enhance your visibility by including details and links in your documents and other materials (such as your resumes, business cards, email signatures etc.) to your online profiles. For instance, your email signature might include your standard information, plus a link to your LinkedIn profile and your Twitter page.

This immediately tells others where you are at and also contributes to your personal brand by creating the impression that you are avidly involved in the social media aspects of your industry.

Meeting Follow Ups

Of course, growing your networks doesn’t have to happen exclusively online. You will likely encounter new executives everyday through meetings, appointments, interviews, lunches, events and conferences.

If you have already fostered good rapport with someone in this way, it is a good idea to ‘follow up’ after your first meeting (or two) by adding them to your professional network/s, whether this means inviting them to connect via social media or inviting them to your next, notable event. This shows that you are interested in establishing a long-term professional relationship with them and that you value them as a contact.

Visit Resumes Australia to learn more about how we can influence your career, from growing your networks to helping you develop clear goals and strategies. Alternatively, take advantage straight away of our services here.

Regards,

kylie hammond

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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