I love getting expert advice. Sometimes I’ve heard a bit of it before, but usually, there’s a new, important nugget. Check out these five terrific tips from Canadian career guru Randall Craig, the author of the three career planning books, including Personal Balance Sheet. He runs the consulting firm Pinetree Advisors and has been all over Canadian media, so he knows what he’s talking about. I particularly like #3–we should always remember “quality over quantity”.
Take it away, Randall!
1) Get more from what you have: Add value to your network by sending magazine clippings, web links, or other materials to them, without asking for anything in return. This concept – making deposits into your network “bank” – allows you to make withdrawals later
2) Be the host: Instead of thinking like a “guest” at a networking event, pretend that you are the host, responsible for everyone’s well-being. Introduce people to each other, as the “real” host if there is something that you can help with, and seek out those who are standing by themselves.
3) Core ten: Too often we focus on “supersizing” the number of contacts we have, instead of “supersizing” the quality of the relationships themselves. Determine the ten most strategic network connections you have, and begin the work to strengthen these relationships.
4) Social Network Risks: While the conventional wisdom is to use social networks (such as LinkedIn, Plaxo, Twitter, and even Facebook and MySpace) to “search” for jobs, too often our listings can lead to disqualification instead. Make sure that unprofessional comments and embarrassing pictures are completely expunged. Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter or hiring manager – would they want to meet with you after seeing your profile?
5) Social Networking Marketing: The key benefit of social networks is that they provide visibility to your contact’s connections. Look through these connections, and then ask YOUR contacts to help set up a real-world meeting with specific people that you target.