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SPRB’s Career Help 101 Series has given you advice on how to craft the right resume, cover letter, online portfolio, and elevator pitch as you search for a job in sports PR. Networking is an important technique in your job search so this post has seven tips, in no particular order, to help you network.
- Be yourself, but be confident. In order to effectively communicate while networking, you need to be confident in yourself because if you don’t believe in you, what will other people think?
- Join a LinkedIn group that will help connect you with other individuals in the sport business industry. In addition, it provides a place for you to ask questions about the industry or provide answers on a topic you know well. Groups include Sports Industry Network, Sports Marketing and PR Pros, Sports Marketing 2.0, Young Sports Professionals Network, Mentoring Future Sports Business Stars, and SportsBiz.
- Remember that networking isn’t just about how you can get something from the other person. Career Hub really stressed this message in their list of 21 Networking Tips for Job Seekers. Relationships are a two-way street so if there’s anything you can do to help them, do it. Come across an article they might find interesting? Send them a link via e-mail.
- Have a business card that you can give out when you meet people. Be sure to include your e-mail address and phone number as well as the URL for your online portfolio and/or relevant blog if you have one. If you want and think it will help, include your Twitter username and/or LinkedIn URL.
- Listen well. The worst thing you can do is go on and on about yourself. It’s sure to turn off the other individual and it doesn’t give you a chance to learn about the other person and develop a relationship.
- Follow up (via Sports Networker). In high school I contacted an ESPN the Magazine senior reporter, who had written a great piece on Steve Yzerman. I was a big Wings fan and really admired his work and wanted to get some more information on the story for my Red Wings blog. I e-mailed him and it started a relationship that has continued until today. One of the things that stuck with me early on was this: He told me that he has given out his business card to hundreds and hundreds of high school and college students, encouraging them to contact him about the sport journalism industry. He told me only a handful will actually follow up. Don’t miss out on a great networking opportunity because you just don’t follow up. P.S. Follow ups include sending thank-you notes.
- Have a sound bite/elevator pitch/brag bag and practice it. SPRB addressed how to create an elevator pitch earlier this week.
What networking strategy has proven effective for you? Share with us in the comment section.