Five steps to job-search success

The long-standing statistic in the career industry has been that 80 percent of jobs are found through networking. Haven’t you heard, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”?

Yet most jobseekers fear networking. They would rather crawl under a blanket, sit behind their computer, submit job application after application and hope and pray that someone will call.

So, why is networking so darn difficult? Sounds fake, salesy, nothing to talk about, might get rejected – I submit that most networking fails because people have forgotten the golden rule of networking: “Networking is about giving – not getting

Follow this five-step networking formula for job-search success:

1. The Search – Don’t just walk around an event or mull in the corner, walk up and say hello. Start with a familiar face and ask for an introduction to someone they know or introduce yourself to people standing alone – it’s perfectly OK. Volunteer to check people in at an event – you get to meet everyone!

2. Discovery – Open up with a question about them. Become a reporter and turn on your curiosity but here’s the most important piece – LISTEN to what they say. You will begin to hear clues about how you can HELP them! Great examples might be:

“Wow, where did you get that great necklace?”

“I haven’t heard of this organization; can you tell me more about the services they offer?”

3. The Offering – After you discover a challenge they are facing, an issue or an opportunity –  offer to help. Give them a suggestion, resource, tip, tool, lead, advice, anything that will advance their cause. Good things to give are: referrals, websites, books, company names, upcoming events and network contacts.

4. The Promotion – Now it’s your turn. Be prepared to give your 10-second or 30-second commercial. Don’t forget to include, your name, what you do, how you help people, and what you are seeking.  Make it simple and get rid of jargon. Make it simple enough that someone will remember and could repeat it.

“Hi. My name is Wendy Miller. I help high-tech companies close sales with customers who need complex technical solutions. I’m a technical sales rep looking for a new position in Denver.”

5.   The Close – Don’t be afraid to close it up! Exchange business cards, shake hands and thank them. Tell them that you will follow up and actually FOLLOW UP! Don’t forget to connect with them on LinkedIn.

“It was a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for telling me about what you do. I’m going to let you meet more people here and I’m going to do the same. I’ll follow up with you tomorrow with what we talked about.”

Next time you attend a networking event, think, “How many times can I GIVE today?” rather than, “What will I GET from the event today?”