How often have you heard in networking workshops that successful job search networking is all about who you know? While that statement is basically true, I argue that it is really who knows you that define successful networking.
I am so fortunate to be a part of Keith Ferrazzi’s Relationship Masters Academy (RMA) right now and am learning so much about not just building my network but cultivating and strengthening my relationships. This program has really made me reflect on the art of networking. For job seekers, it is not about asking people for a job or asking for contact names of hiring managers. Networking is about learning and not about increasing the list of people you know by leaps and bounds.
I remember when I first built my LinkedIn profile. I went out searching every person in business I had ever met. I wanted people in my LinkedIn network. The same can be with business cards. Attending an event only to gather as many business cards as possible is a great way to build contacts and names, but how many business relationships have you really cultivated with that group? How many of those people would even remember you if you called or emailed today?
If you have not built a reputation with your network, then no one is going to remember your name when the right opportunity comes along.
I challenge you today to think about those you would say are in your job search network. Would these people remember you? Do these people know you are searching for full time employment or an internship? Do they know your strengths, goals, or current status in the job search process? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then the first thing you need to do after reading this blog is take the necessary steps to changing the answer to yes.