If you’re a young professional looking for IT jobs in Kansas City, here’s an equation that might be of interest to you:
Technical Skills + Relationships = Great Job Opportunities
At this point, you might be saying to yourself that you have plenty of relationships with industry professionals. But ask yourself this: How well do you really know the people in your network? And how well do they understand your unique value?
If your answers are “not well,” then you could be on the losing end when it comes to finding the right IT job.
Think about it. In today’s day and age of Facebook and Twitter, many of our relationships are superficial. And when you consider a market saturated with a plethora of other talent who also have lots of superficial relationships, then you really don’t have a leg up after all – even if you have tons of connections.
So what’s the answer?
Offline social networking, a.k.a. networking in person. In fact, engaging with people face-to-face – not on Facebook – can offer you a variety of important advantages in your career.
For instance, your natural inclination may be to stay home and play video games, or connect with people online. But when you’ve actually met someone in person, you have a much greater chance of that connection working in your favor.
After all, if you were a hiring manager, whom would you rather bring in for an interview?
- A random person with a resume that looks like everyone else’s, or
- Bill, the CQ5 expert you met at your neighborhood bar.
That said, you don’t have to go out into the world and start introducing yourself to every person who comes your way. It’s perfectly fine to make online connections that eventually lead to in-person meetings. But if you don’t put yourself out there – in person – ever, you can’t really leverage the true power of your connections.
To help you in this strange new world of in-person interactions, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- In a social setting, set a drink limit. The last thing you want to do is get intoxicated in front of someone who could influence your career today, or down the road.
- Don’t be too pushy. If you’re looking for IT jobs in Kansas City, and meet someone who may be able to help, simply offer your business card and schedule a time to talk later. Social networking is first about being social.
- That said, be prepared to promote yourself a bit. If you meet someone who could give you access to an important career opportunity, you don’t want to get tongue tied about why they should consider you.
- Keep things light and positive. In other words, don’t ever trash talk a current or former manager, co-worker, or employer. You never know whether or not the person you’re talking to knows the individual or owner of the company you’re disparaging.
- Talk about topics other than work. Again, social networking is supposed to be fun and lighthearted. So talk about topics of interest that aren’t related to work. You never know; you could share an obscure hobby with someone who could eventually connect you with a great career opportunity. But you’ll never know unless you talk about it…in person.
Need Help Finding IT Jobs in Kansas City?
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