Hospitality professionals: we heard the word. Networking. Networking. According to LinkedIn, 85% of all jobs are filled via networking. This is not just in hospitality. Surprised? Perhaps, yes. Have you ever wondered how that friend or colleague of yours who was not actively looking for a job, got a high paying job? You could give them the benefit of the doubt that they interviewed well, but likely, this probably was due to their networking skills.

Networking is one of those lost arts that social media has, more or less, watered down. In a world where people value followers on Instagram and Facebook more than actual job performance, it can be hard to network based on your resume. We will discuss networking in LinkedIn in a while.

In the modern work environment, networking is more important than ever. Consider these tips to find your next job through networking.

Avoid Being Shy

This is the first and most obvious step to landing your next job by networking. To be honest, it’s rare to see someone in a very high position of power when they are shy or timid.

If you’re looking to take your job to the next level, it’s important to look at complete measures of success and understand that, in most cases, one simply cannot be shy. This includes networking in social media or networking site. Perhaps there are successful people that you want to connect but get intimidated or shy to approach.

You’ll need to exit your comfort zone and take on tasks that might not be geared to your strengths. Only by stepping out of your comfort zone will you begin to see that networking really isn’t that difficult.

Start Freelancing

Freelancing can be one of the most effective ways to network.

Just by creating a profile, at LinkedIn for example, you’ve entered the world of contractors and freelancers who meet each other solely on experience and judgement. If you’re good at your work, you’ll stand out and develop a deep list of contacts that you can call upon for extended work or even full-time jobs.

In fact, most freelancers go on to start their own business, which in some cases can lead to huge success and an even better job down the road.

Update Your Social Media Profiles

Very few people use word of mouth anymore. Virtually all communicating is done online. For this reason, making a professional and striking online presence is essential.

This means creating profiles on social media – not to boast about the big fish you caught last week, but to show your success and hardships (people value real profiles).

Think of the social media game as an opportunity to show potential employers who you are and what you do. After all, the hiring staff and HR reps don’t only look at LinkedIn!

Reaching Out in Professional Networking Site

When reaching out in social networking site be polite. Add a note to your connection request, not just send it point blank. For example, you have a person, a decision maker, and a potential hiring manager that you would like to reach out. Do not just send a connection request saying, hello, I want to add you to my network. Check out his postings, what is he up to, or dig on some news where he is in, or his company. When you send a connection request, mention what you know about his company. Participate in discussions, offer your expertise, or answers questions.

Friends of Friends

For some companies, keeping a tight-knit idea of hiring is important. For that reason, friends of friends can be an important step in networking for your next job.

This doesn’t mean that you start sending out friend requests to every random mutual friend. However, the next time your co-worker asks you to come to a dinner party, don’t stay home and watch Netflix. Go enjoy with some like-minded individuals.

Who knows? A friend of a friend might become your best friend and a colleague at the job of your dreams.

Start networking today! You’ll likely make some amazing connections!

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