Relationships are key, starting with the first job search
When you are embarking on the search for the elusive first job after university, career veterans advise that that you can’t do enough networking, that making a personal contact will go much farther than adding your CV to a stack.
Hiring managers will notice a candidate connected to someone the company trusts a lot more easily than they will a name on a document that lists self-proclaimed attributes.
It is the same with business opportunities. Whether you are a start-up trying to find your first contracts, or an SME or large enterprise trying to build new ventures, it is all about who you know. If you are tempted to pass on an after-work networking event because you want an early night or a drink with friends, try to shift your thinking. The networking event could be what causes you to meet the senior official of an all-important potential client.
Building relationships through social media and blogs
The trend in the modern age is to engage via social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, for fun. However, social networking is simply a digital version of the old advice you were given for your first job hunt – building relationships. Follow someone you admire via their blog or Twitter, and leave comments. If they are as attuned to the power of their online networking tools as they should be, they will respond, even if they have hundreds of followers or subscribers.
The Internet gives the world instant access to interaction, at any time, and building online conversations with businesspeople through their blogs or social networking pages allows you to befriend anyone, or at least build your business contacts.
Consumer marketing professionals know the importance of speaking with their grassroots customers via their Twitter or Facebook accounts, as it gives the company a human side; the more the customers like and interact with the representatives of the company, the more likely they are to buy the company’s products.
In the B2B world, the relationship-building power tool is LinkedIn. Here you can build your business contacts, display your expertise to the business world, and negotiate deals. You can talk with your contacts through private messages, endorse or recommend them, and participate in groups. All of the above build relationships, and in the process, you may find out more about people than just what they do in the working world.