• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • Networking in 2014: How to Increase Your Net Worth

    Business Networking photo from ShutterstockIt’s safe to say 2014 is going to be an even more competitive year for job seekers. Employers aren’t just looking to fill open positions — they’re wanting to hire highly skilled and talented candidates who are the best fit for their company.

    As you’re searching for jobs, you’re probably investing valuable time applying for open positions, searching job boards, and perfecting your resume and cover letter. If you’re already investing this time into your job search, why not invest some of it into your network? Your network is the most powerful asset during your job search because it’s a tool that’s going to help you find a job and increase your net worth as a job seeker.

    Your net worth as a job seeker is how you use your skills, experience, and passions to market yourself as a desirable candidate. Networking is an excellent way to increase your net worth as a job seeker because not only does it help you discover jobs, but also build your personal brand and credibility as a professional.

    When you leverage your network, you’ll be able to understand your connections and who can help you the best during your job search. Whether it’s having a connection to someone who can proofread your resume or a friend who knows of a job opening, your network is going to play major role during your job search in 2014.

    If you’re wondering how you can increase your net worth as a job seeker, check out these different ways networking will help you succeed in your 2014 job search.

    First things first, know your personal brand inside and out.

    Before you can even start increasing your net worth, you must understand your current assets. Do an inventory of your personal brand’s strengths and the connections you currently have. You should also be prepared to answer any question a recruiter or employer could have about your experience and skills. By knowing your personal brand inside and out, you will feel more confident when networking with peers, experts, and employers — and you’ll also discover more connections that will bring you closer to landing a job.

    Begin networking with your peers.

    Before you start worrying about the connections you don’t have, focus on the people you already know. Your peers are a great way to help you create new connections without feeling the pressure of having to meet new people immediately. Reach out to your friends, coworkers, alumni, previous bosses, and friends and family. All of these people can serve as a valuable resource during your job search in 2014.

    Build relationships with the experts.

    The more experts you connect with, the more value your network will have during your search. These professionals can be experts in your field or those who are knowledgeable in career advice and human resources. Ideally, you should build relationships with professionals in both areas to ensure you receive the advice you need.

    The connections you build in your field will help you find mentors and discover what it takes to succeed in landing a job in your industry. They can also provide you with the secrets of how they’ve created a successful career and what it takes to impress employers. In addition to having industry connections, your relationships with career experts will provide you with advice on how to improve your networking skills, market yourself as a professional, and guide you through the job search process. Plus, when you have a connection with a career expert, he or she can provide advice on how to stand out as a candidate and help you avoid common job seeker mistakes.

    Network your way into a company.

    A sneaky way to help you increase your net worth is by networking with people at companies you’d love to work for. You can do this by following these companies on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and also by interacting with their brand online.

    Once you start learning more about a company, the next step is to find out if any of your peers have connections to these companies. If they do, this is the perfect opportunity for you to get your foot in the door. However, if you don’t have any connections, then it’s time to start making them. Reach out to employees and recruiters of those companies and set up informational interviews. This will help you build your network and learn the inside scoop of what it takes to land a job with that employer.

    Your networking goal for 2014 is to become the first person that comes to mind when recruiters, professionals, and employers are seeking new candidates for their companies. If you want to be that first person people want to hire, you’ll have to leverage your network first and increase your net worth. You’ll never know which one of your connections could lead you in the direction of landing a job in 2014.

    What ways are you using your network to build your net worth?

    Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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