Are you a pro when it comes to networking? Or could your networking skills use a tune-up? Here are five tips for improving your networking skills:

#1: Use social media to your advantage.

Keep in mind that a lot of networking happens on social media these days. We’re only just starting to see in-person events like networking gatherings and conferences ramp up again after the pandemic. Stay active on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook; join groups relevant to your field to make connections. Share relevant articles and leave comments on others.

#2: Focus on quality, not quantity.

Handing out more business cards at the next networking event might get you more calls, but are they really the calls you want? It’s simply a waste of time if you’re not gaining the kind of connections you’re really looking for. Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to connecting with people and forming relationships.

#3: Practice active listening.

Remember that networking is all about conversations. And a conversation is a two-way street. Just as important as contributing your side – what you offer as an employee, what your skills and experience look like, what kind of work you’re interested in – is listening to the other party. Actively listen to what people have to say, and you’ll get the most out of that conversation.

#4: Don’t seem desperate.

People can tell when you’re desperate for a job. Don’t bring up work or open jobs right away – let the conversation flow organically when you’re making a new connection. If the discussion turns to job opportunities, that’s great. But forcing it could turn some connections off and get you nowhere.

#5: Don’t write anyone off.

Just because someone doesn’t work in your field, or they don’t have experience in the exact area you’re interested in, doesn’t mean they’re not a valuable connection. On the contrary, people with varied backgrounds are essential for building a dynamic, useful network. Don’t write a connection off because they don’t seem like they’d be valuable – you never know what kind of connection will pay off down the road.

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If you’re searching for a new job, consider partnering with the area’s leading recruitment firm: Talent Corps. Get in touch with a member of our team to explore open roles.

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