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3 min read

How Can I Network to Make Meaningful Professional Connections?

How Can I Network to Make Meaningful Professional Connections?

In today’s market, standing out among other applicants is progressively challenging for job seekers. Establishing professional connections and devising networking strategies have demonstrated their value not only during the job search but also in fostering career growth.

In this edition of nSider, Arthur Ransier, Director of Business Strategy at nTech, talks about the benefits of building a professional network as well as what job seekers can do to distinguish themselves from other job seekers.


Why is networking important for professional success?


Networking is all about relationship building. According to Ransier, "Networking is important for professional success because it will unlock economic opportunities, which could include your next job or your next client. As well, by networking, you will learn more about the kinds of career opportunities that are out there, greatly expanding your worldview."

Through networking, you might find out about a "philanthropic or non-profit organizations that deeply align with your goals, and which can impact the directions you take in your career" says Ransier, and this can help you either immediately in your job search or even in your longer-term career development.


How can you identify your networking goals and objectives?


Networking can sometimes come across as transactional, so it is important to focus on the relationship-building side of things. As Ransier notes, sometimes, "it’s when we find ourselves between jobs that we first think of building a network, but it can be far more effective to have those connections in place beforehand."

Networking strategies are important. As Ransier notes, “It's important to be thinking about your networking goals and objectives from a strategic mindset. Whether you are looking for like-minded thinkers, your next client, or a new job, it will help to know what you are looking for before you start forging new relationships."


Group of Working Men

What strategies can you use to make a memorable first impression? 


Ransier offers some key leveraging points to make a memorable first impression wherever you find yourself with potential contacts.

  • Make an Introduction: One of the best ways to make a memorable first impression is to make an introduction using some of your relationship capital, get them involved, and ensure they feel welcomed and included. This works best at networking events, but it can be equally successful if you pass a gainful contact their way later on.
  • Give Something Up: You will be sure to make a great first impression if you provide a new contact with something to help them meet their goals. This could be a lead, a social media shout-out, or even credit for a good idea you came up with together. 
  • Take a Risk for Someone: Consider taking a risk and using or recommending their services or expertise. If you give someone a chance, they’ll always remember that you were willing to go out on a limb for them.
  • Show Some Empathy: Empathy is at the core of being memorable. Don’t be afraid of being vulnerable. Showing empathy demonstrates that you genuinely value the other person and that your relationship is not purely transactional. Put their needs ahead of your own and offer something you might not normally do, such as providing free, at-cost, or expedited service to help meet their goals.


Person working on a laptop

How can successful networking strategies contribute to your job search?


Building a professional network through thoughtfully initiating and building relationships can open many doors for you in helping to achieve your personal and professional goals.

But these relationships, just like any others, need maintaining. “It’s easy to say ‘Sorry, I can’t help,’ it’s a lot harder to say, ‘How can I help?’ and then follow through with it,” says Ransier, “It’s important to put the relationships ahead of anything else, aside from maybe another relationship.” Being consistent in your relationships is key, so long as you are not damaging other relationships in the process.

When it comes to fulfilling a job search, networking and staffing are the same in that it’s all about building relationships. “When you ask how networking can contribute to a job search, the answer is simple: there is no job that we know about if somebody didn’t tell us about it,” says Ransier.

A LinkedIn article once suggested that 85% of jobs are filled through networking, and while this hypothesis has been disproven (or at least deeply problematized), the reality probably lies somewhere between 40-62%. Applying for jobs is important, but building a professional network can help out a lot, too.

If you are interested in building your professional network to find out more about jobs as they become available, reach out to nTech Workforce today.

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