Sometimes when you’re job hunting you find yourself networking with all your might. If you’re a natural networker, then the process is unlikely to phase you, but if you dread the thought of meeting new people and talking about yourself, it can seem like a real uphill struggle every time. In this sort of situation, you may only have 2 minutes to sell yourself, so how can you make networking your best friend when it comes to securing that aviation job you’re after? Here are some clever networking tricks you can try:
The first is to relieve yourself of unnecessary pressure. Although the buzzword right now is that networking is great for your job prospects (and it is), it’s highly unlikely that you’ll either 100% secure or blow an opportunity by what you say or do at a networking event – so don’t put yourself under undue pressure to perform.
Secondly, you can help yourself by being prepared. Knowing what you want to say about yourself and what you want to ask people will help you pull conversations out of your sleeve when you’re feeling stressed by the situation. That said, while you should make sure you’re familiar with the ‘big lines’ of what you want to say, do try not to learn what you want to get across word-for-word and repeat it ‘parrot fashion’ each time you’re presented to someone new because this will make you seem false.
Be yourself. While inappropriate to behave as you would when at the pub with your mates, being able to be yourself at a networking situation is likely to reap huge rewards. Letting your personality shine through will help people see the real you and the qualities you might bring to their business table.
Reach out first to people you know and take things from there. If possible, arrange to go to a networking event with someone you know or to meet them there. If that’s impossible, seek out people you know in the room and position yourself near them so you feel less exposed. Thereafter you can reach out to their contacts rather than complete strangers.
Feel good about yourself. Making sure you look the part, not arriving late and not feeling stressed about other things when you’re networking will help you perform better. Positive thinking and visualising yourself in the situation before the event will help no end with this task.
Reward yourself. If you’re really dreading the networking event, plan something really enjoyable afterwards that you can look forward to and reward yourself with after you’ve networked and have done things how you want to.
A final important part of your aviation job search armoury is an elevator pitch. Useful in networking situations, an elevator pitch will also stand you in great stead anytime you accidentally bump into someone who might hold a key to your aviation future in some way. So, today’s the day to get an elevator pitch together if you don’t have one.
Here’s what you need to do: imagine that the future of your career depends on you being able to describe yourself or sell yourself to someone in the short time you spend with them in a lift from the ground to the fourth floor. Your future depends on getting into your short pitch – who you are; why you are a major factor in their future success; what only you can do for them and how they can get in touch with you. Sound impossible? Not at all! Oh, and once you’ve created your elevator pitch, use it at every opportunity.
If you’re on the lookout for an aviation job, why not upload your CV today to get headhunted by top airlines and aviation companies as well as receiving job alerts that tell you when new jobs that match your criteria are posted on our site?
In order to stay up to date with what’s happening at AviationMatch, why not follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or save this page as a favourite so you can keep your finger firmly on the pulse of what’s happening on the aviation job front?