On the seventy-fifth installment of Tristan’s Tips, our amazing host Tristan Layfield discusses some shifts we might want to make in our networking strategies. Most of us have heard that networking is the key to getting the jobs we want, but the large majority of us have not had much success in the networking department. If we make a few shifts in how we network, it could be more fruitful for us and our careers! Listen to the full tip to find out what kind of response rate to expect when you’re reaching out to people, why you should always make sure to have a follow-up strategy planned, and more.
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Tristan: What’s going on Living Corporate? It’s Tristan back again to bring you another career tip. This week I want to discuss some shifts you might want to make in your networking strategy.
Most of us have heard that networking is the key to getting the jobs we want, but the large majority of us have not had much success in the networking department. I mean, think about how many networking events you’ve walked away from feeling like that was waste of your time. That’s because most of us aren’t networking in the most efficient way, but if you make a few shifts in how you network, it can be more fruitful for us and our career.
I think networking is more effective in a semi-controlled one-on-one environment rather than in a large group. While it requires more intentional effort and planning, I’ve experienced better results for myself and witnessed better results for my clients. But you also can’t BS your way through it and think you’re going to get those results. You have to understand what value you provide, do your research, ask the right questions, and have a follow-up strategy.
First, understand that every person that you reach out to isn’t going to respond, and that’s okay. You should reasonably expect about a 20% response rate. I know that seems low, but believe me it’s worth it. You just have to have a little persistence and be strategic in who you are trying to network with. I always suggest starting with people who are in positions that you’re trying to land and people who are a level or two above that.
Next, send a personalized email or message. This requires that you do your research. Find a connection between you both. Maybe you went to the same school or you met during a virtual conference or maybe you read their latest article or attend the same webinar. Make sure to state that connection to show them why they should really care. Keep 50% of the word count of the email about them and actually ask for some of their time instead of passively requesting it. Follow up with them in 3 business days and if they don’t respond, move to the next contact.
If they give you some of their time, make sure you prepare and ask the right questions. The book The 2-hour Job Search by Steve Dalton has a great framework for this called TIARA. Ask questions about Trends, Insight, Advice, Resources, and Assignments. If you want to know more about them and potential questions to ask. under those categories, google TIARA framework for more.
Lastly, make sure to have a good follow up strategy. All of this work could go out of window if you don’t have a plan to stay in contact with the person. Most people are not going to give or help you get a job after meeting you once. You need to continue developing your organic relationship with them .
Remember, networking is a two way street. You also need to figure out where you can provide value to the person that you’re reaching out to. And keep in mind that every networking interaction will not get you the job…but it should get you additional information and insight that will help you tailor that resume, optimize that LinkedIn, and provide better answers during that interview. If it lands you a referral, that’s just the cherry on top.
This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @LayfieldResume or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.