Ten Networking Tips By Hank Blank


I spoke this week to Mark JamesExecuNet Group here in The OC this week.  My presentation was called the Top Secrets of Professional Job Search Networking.  Thought I would share some of my thoughts here.

Tip Number 1.

You will land.

The momentum is going in the right way. It is not champagne time but Keystone Light days.  You have to believe.  You can’t be defeated.  Some jobs are even hard to fill.  A Chief Strategy Officer in social media is highly prized for instance.

Tip Number 2.

Networking is About an Attitude of Engagement not about going to an event.

To be really good at something you have to do it all the time.  Leave your Crackberry in your purse or pocket and start engaging with the people around you all the time and you will enjoy your life more. By becoming more connected with life you will become a better networker.

Tip Number 3.

Networking is Work.

Finding a job is a full time job. It is not a casual activity.  You are not just having a coffee; you are meeting with somebody that could lead you to your next job. Treat it that way and bring your A game.

Tip Number 4.

Go Alone.

Going with your friends to a networking event and standing around the bar talking to people you know is not networking. It’s socializing.  Going alone forces you to talk to strangers and expands your connections.  It is great practice for building rapport when you get hired.

Tip Number 5.

Social media is mandatory with minimums.

You can’t pass on this one.  You need to have 500 connections on Linkedin.  It is easy.  Just get out all those business cards and have your college intern invite all those people into your network.  Update daily on your business activity.  You need to have recommendations going back to your first job.  Tweet about your smarts, not your taco consumption. Leave that for others.  You are on a job hunt and want a different voice.

Blog a lot.  It works quickly to help your SEO.

Tip Number 6.

Everything on the Internet is forever and then some.

If you are unhappy at work, don’t talk about that on the internet.  If your employer finds it you are fried.

Tip Number 7.

Face time not Facebook leads to relationships.

Tip Number 8.

The Z Suite can be as important as the C Suite.

Everybody wants to get connected with people in that C Suite but those executives are generally running around with lots to do and aren’t very accessible.  The Z Suite can often help you more.  They can be the HR manager, the IT manager, the executive assistant who can tell you about the hidden jobs, connect you with the real decision makers and sometimes even get your resume to the C Suite.

Tip Number 9.

Networking Isn’t a One Night Stand.

We all want the quick fix and smart phones have increased those expectations.  Networking takes time, repeat appearances, the right attitude, the pay it forward mindset, the reputation based on a history of action of being a resource for others.  Those are the people that are remembered.  People pushing their own agenda are quickly forgotten.

Tip Number 10.

Surround Yourself with youth.

Hire a college student at $10 an hour for 10 hours a week.  Have them do your task projects in your world. They will learn from you. They will teach you about social networking.  They will save you time. Search out opportunities to mentor them.

If these don’t work for you, you can check out this article I got from my friend Peter Quill from Motor Creative in San Clemente.  It is called Seven Habits of Highly Horrible Networkers.

It was originally shared by Hank Mondaca on We Are Orange County Linkedin Group.

You can download Hank’s Networking CD’s by visiting his site at http://www.hankblank.com

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin


Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Watch his video on YouTube on How to Rise Above the Crowd.



11 thoughts on “Ten Networking Tips By Hank Blank

  1. Excellent points, Hank — especially the one about going alone. I would also add that you should surround yourself with youth at every chance, not just by hiring interns. There are times that I work on-site as a freelance copywriter. I love meeting the youngest writers and designers, and I have developed some long-term friendships with many of them. They benefit from my experience and I benefit from their fresh thinking. Plus, they’re an awful lot of fun to hang out with!

  2. I love the phrase “networking isn’t a one night stand”!

    I’m beginning to suspect that in this economy many would love a one night stand . . . as long as it was a verrrrrrrrrrrry long night.

    Love your posts – they do make me think.

  3. Hank, as usual you make excellent points – I like the straight to the point style. People need to understand your Tip Number 3 – Networking is Work and to be successful one must be organized, resourceful and proactive. Excellent post!

  4. Pamela

    These are real life practical tips—and practice makes perfect. Being a seasoned professional like yourself, we learned lots of these tips by doing it wrong. Your tips give me a reminder of the value and WORK in networking. They also give those with lesser exeprience words of wisdom, I suggest those new at this to take these tips to heart as they will accelerate your success. What stands out for me is going alone and the difference in socializing and networking. I too love mentoring and learning and conectting with others, especially with students is a WIN-WIN. They need the experience and you need their computer savvy. That’s a match!

  5. Joyanne Howell

    Hi Hank,
    I enjoyed reading this post. Really solid advice here. I just have 1 concern…Tip Number 5: “You need to have 500 connections on LinkedIn”. Why 500? Is it all just a number’s game? Wouldn’t the quality of your connections matter more than the quantity? I understand how having a larger network gets you more exposure. This would be ideal in a job search scenario – given that the other tips are also being applied. But I believe the ultimate goal should be meaningful connections. Just not sure what makes 500 the “magic number”.

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