Transitioning veterans may feel daunted about the job market. From personal brands to networking, you have heard different advice including some advice that is incorrect. This article will help you sort through the networking myths that are out there. Here are eight networking myths debunked.
1. Only use social networking websites
Nowadays everyone is saying you must be on a site like LinkedIn or other social networking websites. While it is a good idea to have your resume out there, you should still physically go and apply for jobs. Meet the human resources director or a manager. Many places will tell you to apply online, but if they meet you they will remember you.
2. Do not use social networking websites
There is a benefit to using places like Linkedin and other social networking websites. You can use social networking websites, but you must be aware of what you are projecting. Do not slap together a quick resume and take a selfie in a bar for your picture. Take your time. Make sure your resume includes your military service highlights and a good relaxed professional picture. You do not want to be too laid back, but you also do not want to come across as uppity or too professional.
3. Make sure you memorize what you are going to say
When you meet a potential employer you may have been told to have a prepared short speech, which tells them about what you have to offer. You will want to tell them what you have to offer, but not in a dry, repetitive way. Do your research into the company and tailor your responses to their individual business. It is okay to have some points to talk about, just don’t memorize your speech.
4. Do not use small talk
You should ask about job openings but be ready to talk about other things first. Small talk is a key way for an employer to get to know you and offer you an opportunity. Even if they do not have a job opening, they may point you towards someone else that does.
5. You can only network on a job site or at a job fair
Some people think networking only happens in places like job fairs. This is not true. You can network anywhere. You can network in places like Red Lobster or Houlihan’s. If you are introduced to someone who is in an industry you are interested in you can network with them. Find out their likes and dislikes. Let them know your strengths and they may have an opening. They may not, but there is a good chance they will remember you if you give a good first impression.
6. You do not have to follow up
Some people will tell you to just nail the interview and you have the job. While you want to nail the interview, you also have to do some follow up. It is easy, quick, and makes a great impression. After your interview you can send a follow up written thank you note or email. Thank your future employer for interviewing you. Point out the positives of the job, and let them know any additional information you may have forgotten to tell them during the interview, but make it brief. A quick follow up can make the difference to a recruiter.
7. The more people you meet the better your chances
This is only partially true. While you want to make connections, you want to be sure they are quality connections. When you meet someone, if you do not take the time to get to know them and to show them your strengths and skills you will have an empty meet and greet. Just because you have shaken the hand of the owner of a business you want to work for, it does not mean you will be hired. You have to talk to people and get to know them. Make eye contact and tell them what you are looking for in a job. Let them know you are looking. If you do not tell them, they will not know.
Now that you know what myths to avoid it is time to step up and get to work. Polish your resume and start really talking to people. The job you want is out there and it is yours to get.
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