Connect Your Way to Your Next Job
Advertising Week in New York City was, once again, a fantastic meeting ground for hiring managers and job seekers. Every industry assembles together at least once a year, and these gatherings are prime spots to advance your search agenda. Events like IAB MIXX and the Relay Sports Sponsorship Symposium were loaded with some of the industry’s best bosses. Here are some tips on maximizing your networking ability to land your next position.
Build a Plan
In my last column, I encouraged you to seek out your dream employers. As you continue to build your wish list of ideal places to work, research which conferences these companies attend. Occasionally, businesses’ websites list which events they’ll be attending, presenting at, and sponsoring. Identify key contacts for the job you’re interested in and have a plan that consistently puts you at the same place at the same time.
Review speaker lists and determine who you’d like to meet days prior to the event. Send them an email and call to set up some time to connect. As you’ve probably noticed, high-level attendees are not always easy to pin down during these industry gatherings. To ensure you get an opportunity to meet them (without standing in line), do your homework and engage early.
One of the most effective networking tactics is leveraging a mutual relationship. Look at your employer target list and determine who from your network might be able to make an introduction. If your rolodex is filled with people from the same industry, you should be able to forge some personal bridges. Ask those friends and colleagues to make email introductions. This approach will take your engagement to a much higher level.
As you sort through collected business cards, you might only follow up with contacts that represent an immediate opportunity. Rather than forgetting about the other people you met, send them a note sharing your search objective and company targets. Those connections might prove to be an unexpected knowledge base or a helpful source for referrals. You should also study the attendee lists for people who could be a potential connector in your quest.
Reciprocate the help that others provide you with by offering them whatever information or contacts you can. Others tend to go out of their way for you even more once they’ve received help. Giving to your contacts first will actually result in a better-performing network.
Get going today and research your industry’s annual gatherings. Big or small, these events can add momentum to your search instantly.
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