Networking may instill fear in introverted IT professionals, but to score big on your job hunt, it’s just one of those things that you’ve got to do. But for those who tend to be gun-shy in schmoozing your way to a job, recent survey results from recruiting firm Robert Half Technology offer some comforting figures.
For starters, the majority of IT workers surveyed by the company say the quality of their professional network is “very important” to their overall success. In other words, as the survey figures bear out, quality is more important than quantity. This means there are fewer people you have to schmooze with to potentially yield results.
Nearly 44 percent prefer networking online, compared to in-person. That’s a double-edged sword. While it bodes well for those who are less inhibited in online conversations than in-person settings like trade shows, conferences or parties, that doesn’t mean social networking is as effective as meeting people face-to-face. Truth is, you’re better off meeting in-person, though staying in touch through social networks is a good way to keep the relationship dynamic.
Indeed, “knowing someone professionally and being willing to go to bat for that person are two different things,” said John Reed, a Robert Half Technology senior executive director. “You may have hundreds of LinkedIn connections, but if the relationships are superficial, your contacts may not be very helpful when you’re seeking professional advice or assistance with a job search.”
Five pitfalls that Robert Half Technology advises workers to avoid:
- Losing touch with networking contacts.
- Exhausting your networking resources by always asking the same person for favors.
- Forgetting to show appreciation to people who acted on your behalf, even if it doesn’t result in a job.
- Sending an email blast asking for help, instead of tailoring it.
- Ignoring opportunities to help someone out.