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Posts Tagged ‘job seekers’

Ten Tips to Off-line Networking for Career Success and Personal Branding

June 26th, 2011

Hi All!

Nowadays, most people seem to be solely focused on social networking online. And, yes, while I am a firm believer that Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are AMAZING tools for making professional connections, I find that many Millennials (aka: Gen Y), and even members of older generations at work, such as Gen X, Generation Jones and Boomers, forget about “the other” type of networking…attending industry mixers and professional association gatherings!

Quite honestly, I find that attending in-person networking events can typically yield me positive business results faster than relying on social media networking. Therefore, I make an effort to include in-person networking to my personal brand-building mix.

But, I also find that many people are not that great at using their valuable networking time wisely. As a result, I make sure to include tips on “effective networking at events” in the Personal Leadership Branding seminars and Millennial Business Boot Camp workshops that I conduct for corporations and college students. It is key to your career success!

So whether you’re a job-seeker or simply wanting to expand your professional network outside of your office to “increase awareness for your personal brand”, keep reading!

Here are Ten Tips I suggest to make your off-line networking efforts successful:

  1. Show-up with your business cards! People often forget their cards, or only bring a few, and that’s embarrassing. Bring a substantial stack so you don’t run out. And, if you’re a job-seeker who is unemployed, make your own cards and consider making them 2-sided so that you can list your qualifications on the back. Plus, bring copies of your resume “just in-case”!
  2. Don’t be shy. Remember, everyone is there to meet new people, so you are all in the same boat. Find someone standing alone or a small group of people, walk up, extend your hand (for a FIRM shake), smile and introduce yourself. It may feel odd at first but people who network a lot are used to strangers approaching them. And if you say it’s your first time attending the mixer, they’ll normally want to help you meet other people.
  3. Practice your 15-second “personal infomercial” (aka: elevator pitch) before you arrive. When someone asks what you do or why you are there, be able to explain yourself in 15-seconds or less. DO NOT bore people with a long personal pitch or a bumbling explanation about who you are and/or what you’re seeking.
  4. You should take an interest in the people you meet first. It’s common to ramble on about yourself when you’re nervous, so make a serious effort to ask people questions and LISTEN to what they share closely.
  5. Depending on the length of the mixer, try not to spend more than 5-10 minutes with each person. You’re there to meet a lot of people! Now if you’re really enjoying yourself with someone, maybe spend a bit more time. BUT, KEEP IN MIND, they may want to be moving on to meet more people, too, so don’t monopolize their time. They might be too shy to excuse themselves, so be mindful of time, and watch their eyes and body language!
  6. If alcohol is being served, don’t overdo it. I’ve seen quite a few people early-on at an event making a great impression and then, after a few drinks, it goes downhill. Remember: If you’re an employee, everything you say and do at the event will not only impact your personal brand but will also reflect on your employer’s brand!
  7. Make a lot of eye contact with people and smile! It’s all about human contact, and smiling will draw people to you. However when most people get nervous they tend to stand on the sidelines and hope people will come to them. A genuine, sincere smile will relax people and will make connecting with you more inviting…exuding confidence it key!
  8. Practice being a good conversationalist. Rather than JUST talk about you, your job and your purpose for being there (or theirs), have a few interesting questions memorized, and ask about kids, travel, previous jobs, pets, sports, current events, etc. This can help you quickly bond with people beyond “business”. Also, by really listening to people (which many people are NOT great at!) questions will come up naturally that you can ask to keep the conversation going. And, personally, I avoid topics around religion and politics…there’s no need to get yourself into a potentially controversial conversation!
  9. If someone approaches a group you’re talking to, immediately extend your hand, smile, and make them feel welcome. Remember, they are probably nervous, too!
  10. Send a hand written follow-up note to all the people you meet (mail them within 1-2 days). The immediate thought, especially by Gen Y, is to send an e-mail or text message, but a good ‘ol fashioned “Nice meeting you” greeting card, sent via snail mail, makes a BIG impression on people, from ANY generation…because people rarely send them nowadays!

Okay, now find some good association mixers and industry events in your area, and try to attend at least 1-2 per month, consistently. There is a very good chance you’ll reap the benefits of your off-line networking efforts fast, such as: See your professional contacts database grow quickly; find career-building opportunities otherwise missed; and, for those of you job searching, potentially get leads on good job opportunities!

Here’s a great quote I read a while ago (but I can remember who said it): “Take your online connections off-line, and take your off-line connections online”. Great advice!

 Bye for now!

Lisa

Social Recruiting Start-up, KODA.us, Lands $3M in Funding & Targets Gen Y Job Seekers

August 03rd, 2009

Hi All!

Social networking meets recruiting…we know that…we’ve seen the power of LinkedIn and FaceBook for recruiting. But there’s a new company on the scene, KODA.us, who’s CEO claims: “KODA is more professional than Facebook but more personal than LinkedIn, letting both sides of the hiring equation get to know each other,” said Jeff Berger, Co-Founder and CEO of KODA.  “Using a job board is like searching for a needle in a haystack.  KODA gives you more needles, less haystack, and we’ve developed proprietary technology that facilitates a smoother recruitment process for both candidates and employers.”

Here’s their recent Press Release to learn more:

Social Recruiting Start-up KODA.us Completes $3M Round of Angel Funding
Increasing Traction of Social Recruiting Platform Among Large Corporations and Entry-to-Mid-Level Talent Attracts Fresh Capital Infusion

San Francisco – KODA.us, the social recruiting site that is changing the way new talent and smart companies connect, just announced that it secured a $1 million fresh capital infusion from a group of private angel investors. Recent fundraising brings the total investment-to-date to $3 million, further validating the company’s increased traction among large corporations and emerging talent. This marks the completion of KODA’s previously unannounced first round of funding, allowing the company to expand upon the success of the first two months of their public Beta period.

KODA.us launched on May 27, 2009 as the first platform dedicated to social recruiting, which brings the relationship-oriented process of social networking to job recruiting.    

Within the past two months, KODA has established relationships with over 350 corporations, non-profit organizations and private businesses.  The site focuses on the entry-to-mid-level job market.  It profiles people and employers in a way that goes beyond the traditional resume or job posting.  A KODA profile gives an employer the opportunity to portray job openings within the context of organizational branding.  KODA profiles give people the chance to highlight relevant life experience and personal attributes, rather than just work experience. 

“GenY job seekers don’t often know what specific companies and opportunities to explore, and KODA provides a pipeline that makes these job seekers more informed,” explained Berger.  “They’ll now have access to information about corporate culture before they even decide to apply for a position.” KODA gives companies a venue in which they can lead conversations with prospective candidates about corporate culture and work environment, helping both parties to assess “fit” before the interview.  “In this economy, ‘fit’ matters,” added Berger.  “It decreases turnover and improves performance.” 

KODA makes participation convenient for employers by offering seamless integration with companies’ own internal career webpages, so that recruiters don’t need to manually repost jobs.  KODA’s proprietary crawler pulls up-to-date job listings directly from employers’ websites and showcases them on KODA.us. The site is now featuring thousands of job opportunities in various U.S. cities and regions. KODA will be launching new functionality as the Beta period continues, including tools for universities and professional associations to be involved in the process.

While Headquartered in San Francisco, KODA has an outpost in New Orleans and is actively involved in the post-Katrina economic rebirth of the city. KODA was recently named a 2009 Innovator of the Year by New Orleans CityBusiness.

For more information, email katie@koda.us, press@koda.us, or visit www.koda.us.  

Good luck to Jeff and his team with their new venture!

Bye for now,

Lisa