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Face to Face Networking and Polishing Social Skills Have Advantages for Job Seekers

Copyright (c) 2012 Alison Withers

The networking process can take many forms, can be done for many purposes and is described in the dictionary as the action or process of making use of people for the exchange of information or for professional or other advantage.

The most high profile version recently has been the online social networking using websites like Twitter, Facebook and, most significantly for business purposes including job seeking, LinkedIn.

Businesses also use events such as exhibitions, trade shows and business networking clubs as opportunities to both raise the profile of their products and services, to make connections with potential clients and customers and to keep an eye on their competition.

The basis of all of these methods is to build trust and relationships between people and the networking club in particular can be very useful for establishing long-lasting connections that become ongoing collaborations between small companies that can join together to work on larger projects.

The general guidance on how to handle these events is to listen more than you talk and to be patient because it takes time to develop a worthwhile relationship.

All forms of networking can be helpful for career building and job seeking although each has its own strengths and needs to be used wisely. Online networking is possibly less reliable for building a personal professional relationship because there are few ways of checking the truth of what is said and they are used for a variety of purposes, some entirely social.

There have been plenty of innovative candidates,however, who have used online social media to make their CV into a short video to showcase on YouTube, or who have put their professional profiles onto LinkedIn, which offers an option for showing that a person is looking for a particular type of work.

For a candidate, such as a PA or secretary, whose work involves excellent "soft" or people skills, face to face networking obviously provides an opportunity that online networking cannot.

The settings and structure of networking can vary widely, from the slightly more structured business networking breakfast or lunch, to meetings in the conference room, to the cocktail-type party.

What they all have in common is the need for participants to have a degree of confidence in their ability to interact with people they have not met before and to strike the right balance between being formal and friendly or constructive without being overly pushy and insistent. To start with it may feel uncomfotable but with perseverance and practice it may lead to improved social skills and improved access to job opportunities.

It could be argued that using a specialist recruitment agency is in itself a form of networking. A careful and professional agency will take time and trouble to get to know both candidates and clients and will only register the candidates it considers have the right skills and personality to fit their clients' requirements. This would indicate that the agency has taken time and trouble to get the people matches right and if done well this in itself often means having access to opportunities that have not been more widely advertised. Therefore in a sense being accepted by the agency is in itself acquiring an opportunity to benefit from its networking.

Candidates in a highly competitive job market need to be innovative in creating opportunities for themselves and also in finding ways to stand out from the crowd.

About Author Alison Withers :

Networking can create additional opportunities for candidates seeking a new job as well as helping them to polish the important soft skills that are increasingly important for a good PA or secretary. By Ali Withers. <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Wednesday, August 8, 2012
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