In thinking about what sets the best candidates apart from the average ones, here’s why networking pays off for the best candidates, but doesn’t work for the average ones.
The best candidates understand that networking is not an event. Instead, it’s something you do with regularity, like the slow and steady drip of the coffee pot each and every morning. Networking is not what you do when you’re unemployed and looking for your next gig. Or something you do when you’re in sales and your need to reach your monthly sales quota… The world we sees you coming, you need something, right? Well, you’re the last person the room wants to meet.
The best candidates can network because they do it consistently in their company, in their industry and in their local marketplace. They know networking helps address many professional needs at one time. That networking allows you to learn from others. And is a way to meet people (and for people can meet you). Yes, relational capital. Check out Ed Wallace, The Relational Ladder for more good stuff on that!
The best candidates build relationships with the people they meet, which leads to opportunities to help/serve/do something for others. It is in this act of service that the best candidates distinguish themselves. When you know someone, you can build trust, respect and even like them. And the best candidates learn to accumulate these relationships and develop a network of connections that have been cultivated to develop mutual benefit and gain. The more a good candidate networks and serves, the more the they can count on their network to reciprocate.
To be the best candidate, practice these simple steps:
- Network like clock work (harder than it sounds).
- Serve the needs of others.
- Practice the “accumulation and time effects” — network a little all of the time forever.
- Do more for your network than you ask of it.
- Live by a mantra of trust, credibility and value creation:
- Be trustworthy— make your word mean something with impeccable follow through.
- Have credibility— Give back to your network with what you know and who you know.
- Ask yourself, am I creating value for people in my network?
So yes, the best candidates are great at networking. And they are in demand because of it. These candidates can land any coffee meet up or job they want in their network. How do I know? Think of the best candidates, they usually fit this mold!