I recently hosted two amazing former job seekers on my July Q&A show who successfully networked to find awesome new opportunities in the US. Both landed competitive roles at their target companies by leveraging their connections and they shared top networking advice for job seekers based on their personal experience. Here are their nine key tidbits for you to keep in mind:

1. Be proactive

Don’t wait for networking opportunities to come to you. The passive networker is the unsuccessful networker. The more active an approach you take to your strategy by seeking out career fairs, job expos, information sessions, and networking events, the faster you’ll find new opportunities.

2. Be persistent

Never give up! The best networking advice for job seekers is to always keep your eyes on the prize and never look away. Dedicating yourself to persistency will give you the courage to reach out to cold contacts, meet new people, and make a fantastic first impression on employers during a career fair or job expo.

3. Be prepared

Always do your research before you attend a networking event or meet anyone so that you come across as informed and ambitious. If you’re heading to an industry-specific networking event, research some top trends and opportunities that you’re interested in. If you’re meeting a specific person, check out their background on LinkedIn and make notes of topics to discuss and questions to ask them. If you’re heading into an informational interview, send the person an agenda at least 24 hours before your meeting so that you stay on track.

4. Be presentable

It only takes seven seconds for someone to form a first impression about you, so make sure it’s a good one by ensuring that you’re presentable for every networking event and informational interview you attend. Remember: many people interpret the way you dress as a direct reflection of your potential.

5. Have an open mind

The opportunity you end up getting might not be the one you thought you set out for. That’s okay! I recommend always keeping an open mind about the people you meet and the doors they can open for you. Just because a job offer wasn’t what you pictured, doesn’t mean it’s not an amazing opportunity to accelerate your career.

6. Don’t let rejections knock you down

Here’s the reality: you will probably get rejected during your job search. Whether it’s a cold contact who doesn’t respond to your outreach message or a hiring manager not thinking you’re the best fit, rejection hurts. Don’t let it get you down. You will find an opportunity if you persevere.

7. Make a great lasting impression

Always bring your A-game, no matter who you’re meeting. You never know how the person you’re talking to may be able to help you. So, before you head out to your next networking event, polish your elevator pitch and come prepared with key questions to help conversation flow smoothly!

8. Be specific and targeted with your search

The more you put yourself in situations with people who can directly help you with your job search, the more likely it is that they will. Always target your search to places where your ideal employers will be, whether that’s an industry specific conference, career fair, job expo, or information session. I recommend joining a professional association that organizes these types of opportunities!

To hear more networking advice for job seekers, check out the full Q&A here and let me know what you think in the comments section!

Agenda:

1:45 – Successful Job Seekers Share Their Stories

8:45 – How to Develop the Network You Need to Make an Industry Change

12:50 – What a Successful Networking Strategy Looks Like

17:15 – How to Network to Land Opportunities in Different Countries

25:40 – How to Network to Find Your First Job

29:40 – How to Maintain Your Network

34:00 – How to Stay Motivated In Your Job Search

47:20 – How to Network for Introverts

51:30 – Job Search Etiquette for Those Transitioning to the United States

55:40 – How and When to Follow Up