You might have a picture-perfect resume. You might satisfy all the basic qualifications. Your credentials might even get past the robotic sorters looking through thousands of resumes for specific “buzz words”. But at the end of the day, if you are just a name on a job application, you might not get invited to that first round interview. So how do you combat this nightmare? Well, a good first step is to improve and expand your network.
Networking involves establishing new connections with others in your field of interest as well as strengthening existing relationships with colleagues, bosses, pupils, and people you briefly met at a conference or meeting. You do not even need to know the person you are trying to connect with, as a mutual contact might be willing to make an introduction. As a result, networking is a varied process occurring in many different forms.
One of the more memorable parts of the consulting recruiting process was witnessing people attempting to network with consulting firms. What stood out was that people didn’t seem to have a commonsense understanding of networking best practices. Consequently, I witnessed some networking maneuvers that were simply bad form. I thought I had buried those amusing memories in my past, but this summer students have been seeking to network with me, and so now I’m experiencing some of these less than optimal networking tactics from the other side. Hence, I thought it would be helpful to highlight 6 pieces of tactical guidance for networking with consulting firms.
When it comes to recruiting the three big criteria are: networking, application package (cover letter, resume, and transcript), and interview. Even after you get a job, networking is still one of the most essential life skills to have. Either we shy away from it and allow ourselves to be outshined by others, or we grab the bull by the horns and learn how to thrive.
In today’s article, I would like to share seven (7) tips on “what not to do” from an employer’s perspective.
Networking styles and results can vary so much from person to person, as well as by the nature of the event you are attending. These are mere guidelines that you can adapt to your own personality and field. Some points may not be true depending on the representative talked to – we are all different.
If you’re a normal professional, you may just feel at least a smidge of apprehension or resentment when it comes time to drag yourself to (or get dragged to) a professional networking event. Sure, sure, the crab puffs might be killer, but there are so many things to not love about these shindigs that I’d be here for hours if I tried to highlight each one.
Because that doesn’t sound fun for either of us, let’s start with four common reasons why you don’t enjoy them—even when you know (or suspect) they’re important to attend. And then let’s find a better option for every stinking one of them.
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Whether you have a job that entails regular conferences or you’re a freelancer who gets to work like a hermit, you’ll probably need to network at some point in your life. Here’s how to do it so everyone you touch gains from the experience.
It’s an indisputable fact that personal contacts open doors. One classic study, outlined in the book Getting a Job, showed that among the 282 men surveyed, 56 percent had found their jobs through personal contacts, whereas only 19 percent had found theirs through job advertisements and 10 percent through applications of their own initiative.
So, you’re never first to raise your hand during meetings and you’re uncomfortable schmoozing with strangers at networking events. Does that mean you’re doomed to fail in the business world?
Not even close, shy one.
Those on the quiet side tend to be good listeners, giving them a serious edge over their more talkative, sometimes oversharing counterparts, says etiquette coach Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach.
One of the first people we met when we began marketing in Orange County was Bill Ellermeyer. I met him at a mixer where I noticed the ever changing number and types of people speaking with him. Some younger, some older, people in hip hop regalia and guys in suits we’re engaged with him in conversation.
When I finally spoke with him I noticed two things. First, I felt like I’d known the man for more than a few moments, and second, he was an incredible listener. How this listening manifested itself was he asked questions that got at what I was thinking, not just saying. Within a ten minute conversation, he had a good grasp of my business and gave me a road map of whom to speak with and where potential partners and clients might be found. All of this information was delivered with wit and enough political savvy that the relationships of the people we discussed became apparent. It was a seminar. Then, as quick as it started it was over, both of us shaking hands and continuing to work the room.
This is what Bill Ellermeyer does. He sees patterns. He makes connections. He then takes that vision and applies it to his clients who are primarily executives exiting the corporate world in search of the next illusive job or in some cases coming to grips with the idea that the next position won’t be there for them at all.