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4 Steps to Taking Your Networking to the Next Level

Heather Huhman |

April 01, 2010

STEP 3: Leveraging the relationship

You can gain wonderful insight from your contacts, but make sure you also show an interest in them! For example, people love talking about themselves and one icebreaker is to ask how the individual got started in their career. Also, do some thorough research on your contact’s personal and/or professional blog,Twitter feed, and LinkedIn profile so you can ask tailored questions about their career, interests and specialties. Demonstrating research with pertinent and customized questions will impress your contact because you went through such lengths to learn about him or her. This gesture will reflect well on your part, and will almost certainly persuade your contact to continue building the relationship.

STEP 4: Calls to action

Eventually, once you have built a relationship with this contact and you feel like you have added value, it is time for you to ask for a call to action. You may ask the person if they know of anyone from your target list of organizations to work for, or even better, if they can refer you to a key decision maker.

Ask the person if they are willing to refer you to other contacts and thus, the process continues. Repeat steps two through four with this new contact. The goal is to build as many contacts as possible to eventually land a job.