3 Ways to Build Credibility with Your Network

3 Ways to Build Credibility with Your Job Search NetworkOne of the most basic reasons why your networking might not be working is that your connections may not know you well enough to help you or even to want to help you. Throughout your job search, it’s vital to build what marketers refer to you as your “like, know, and trust factor;” that is, you have to help your connections to get to know you, to like you, and to trust you.

You can accomplish this in your job search via three relationship-building strategies:

First, build visibility with your network. By leveraging social media such as LinkedIn, you can use group discussion areas and status updates to elevate your presence and help your network to notice you more. In your LinkedIn communications and messages, make sure you share your personality – be real, be you, be authentic. Find reasons to message your network with genuinely helpful information and resources.

Second, build credibility with your network. Demonstrate your willingness to collaborate. Be consistently courteous and responsive. Be ethical and accountable for your actions. If you pledge to do something for someone, make sure you follow-up and circle back. Always say thank you and always use the other person’s name in your LinkedIn or email messages.

Third, build your brand identity with your network. Share resources that relate to your areas of expertise. Develop a branded executive bio (not a corporate bio) use it as your primary networking tool. Make sure you have case studies or other relevant media or presentations attached to your LinkedIn profile. Only use your job search email with your network and insert your Unique Value Proposition into your signature.

Marketing experts tell us that it usually takes 7-9 email interactions for a target customer to make a purchase. In the world of online networking, it often takes a similar number of interactions for key influencers (recruiters, contacts within target companies, and hiring executives) to see you as credible. Here’s a quick run-down on what your 7-9 online interactions might look like:

  1. You invite to the contact to connect.
  2. Once they accept, you send a custom thank you message.
  3. After connecting, you reach out to ask how you can help them in their profession.
  4. Later, you message them to inquire what kind of referrals they’d like to receive from you. May you place your network at their disposal?
  5. Information gift #1: You send a helpful piece of information, a blog post, or a link to a relevant article written by someone else.
  6. Information gift #2: You again send a helpful piece of information, a blog post, or a link to a relevant article written by someone else but also ask a question about it, seek their insight about it, or include your own comments about it.
  7. Information gift #3: You write your own discussion post, status update, or article on LinkedIn and send them a link to it along with a question or comment that invites their feedback or shares their experience.
  8. You send a message making one single and highly specific networking request such as asking for companies to target, referrals to recruiters, or background information about a person or company.

By getting strategic about your networking and your relationship-building, you will improve the quality of your results and multiply the number of opportunities your efforts will yield. Networking works, but you have to work it.

Comments

  1. Leena Boyjoo Surroop says:

    Resourceful article! Thank you very much ! 🙂