Introduction

Networking-"A group or system of interconnected things or people."
Networking-"A group or system of interconnected things or people."
Licenced from Shutterstock by ELS

Do you sometimes think you need to meet more people so that your talents or ideas can be discovered and shared or so you can find out information that will help you in your work or career development? This can be especially important if you have just moved to a new country and are looking to establish yourself.

Networking is the process by which individuals build and maintain a professional network community where connections are mutually utilised for information and personal, professional or business development.

The purpose of networking is to meet like-minded people, share information, seek out opportunities, develop your career or even grow your business. Networking happens both formally and informally every day. Activities that involve networking might include socialising, attending a networking event, engaging with a social media platform such as LinkedIn and being part of a professional association.

Informal networking takes place all the time, but you can also be proactive about seeking opportunities to develop your network. Effective networking requires planning and will be time consuming. It takes time to establish strong relationships built on trust and to maintain them while you continue to expand your network. How much time you are able to invest in your professional networks will determine how effective they are. It is definitely the case that you will get out what you put in.

In today’s digital world, online networking is very important. With the growth of platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter, online networking can be quick, effective and global.

 

Task

Your Task: Preparing to network
Your Task: Preparing to network
Adapted from an image Licenced from Shutterstock by ELS

Your task is to prepare yourself for networking and professional social media networking through Linkedin by:

  • Identifying an objective for what change you are aiming for in your career and who you are hoping to network with.
  • Creating an ‘Elevator Speech’ to describe yourself
  • Creating a powerful linked in profile
  • Researching social networks relevant to your goals and getting acquainted with foreign media and websites where CVET opportunities are promoted
  • Making a networking plan
  • Find an event and practice the 6 steps for Networking at an Event or Social Gathering
  • Joining a social media group that relates to your chosen profession or an expat community relating to the country you’re from and write 3 posts
  • Following up meetings or messages on Linkedin

 

Here are the key knowledge, skills and competences you should aquire during the process:

Knowledge Acquired

  • Describe the key components of an elevator speech
  • Describe the ‘Ed Principle’
  • Describe 6 key steps when networking at an event or social gathering
  • Describe a variety of ways you can network
  • Describe why following up after a networking intervention is important

Skills Acquired

  • Create an elevator speech
  • Set up a LinkedIn Profile or improve an existing LinkedIn profile using the 8 Steps to Creating a Powerful LinkedIn Profile
  • Create a networking plan

Competences Acquired

  • Be able to reflect on what makes a good profile and personal description.
  • Be to make real, genuine connections with people at events. Be genuine and listen to what others have to say. Ask questions to keep the conversation going and look for ways that you might be able to help out the other person.
  • Be able to implement the 6 steps for Networking at an Event or Social Gathering
  • Be able to effectively follow up after a new contact is made

Process

Identify an objective for the change you are aiming for in your career and who you are hoping to network with:

  • Write down on a piece of paper your career goals, training, development and educational goals and a description of the types of people you think will be able to help you in this endeavour.

Create an ‘Elevator Speech’ to describe yourself:

  • Complete the ‘Your Elevator Speech’ Worksheet.

Create a powerful linked in profile:

Option 1 (You don’t have a LinkedIn Account):

  • Go to LinkedIn using the web link
  • Sign Up for an account
  • Watch the following You Tube Videos:
    • LinkedIn Profile Tips for Creating Your Best LinkedIn Summaries
    • Linkedin Training- How to make your Linked In profile more attractive to recruiters
  • Read the Pdf document called ‘8 Steps to Creating a Powerful LinkedIn Profile’
  • Write your LinkedIn profile and summary using the advice given in the videos and pdf document.
  • Have a look at the LinkedIn Infographics on Networking on Pinterest using the web link.

Option 2 (You already have a LinkedIn Account):

  • Watch the following You Tube Videos:
    • LinkedIn Profile Tips for Creating Your Best LinkedIn Summaries
    • Linkedin Training- How to make your Linked In profile more attractive to recruiters
  • Read the Pdf document called ‘8 Steps to Creating a Powerful LinkedIn Profile’
  • Review your LinkedIn profile and summary using the advice given in the videos and pdf document and see if you can make any improvements to your profile and summary based upon the advice given.
  • (For Migrants) If your LinkedIn profile is currently in another language consider creating a new one in the language of your new country.

Researching social networks relevant to your goals and getting acquainted with foreign media and websites where CVET opportunities are promoted

  • Using the web links provided (and/or or search engine) find 3 social networks that are either relevant to your careers goals, relevant to your educational goals or connect you with an expat community.

Making a networking plan

  • Read the pdf called ‘Networking Plan’
  • Create a networking plan for yourself

Find an event and practice the 6 steps for Networking at an Event or Social Gathering

  • Read the pdf called ‘Six Steps for Networking at an Event or Social Gathering’
  • Research and find one event or college/university open day you can attend (you can try and find an event on the Eventbrite website) and put into practice what you have learned from the ‘Six Steps for Networking at an Event or Social Gathering’.
  • Follow up with any actions you have promised to do with any new contacts you have made at the event.

Join a social media group that relates to your chosen profession or an expat community relating to the country you’re from and write 3 posts.

 

Conclusion

By doing this module we hope that you will have a  personal profile on LinkedIn that gets you noticed, gets you started talking to new people and that you have started to make new connections (both online and offline). In addition we hope that you have begun to develop rapport to grow your circle of influence. By developing long-term relationships for mutual gain and creating lasting impressions with people you will be learning a life skill which has many applications for you both personally and professionally.

Evaluation

  • • Be able to describe and introduce yourself in a networking situation
  • • Be able to create a powerful linkedin profile that attracts new contacts
  • • Be able to create a networking plan
  • • Be able to apply the 6 steps for networking at an event or social gathering in a real situation
  • • Understand the importance of following up after a networking intervention.

Resources

Videos


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