It’s no secret that connections are extremely powerful in the job market. A recent LinkedIn survey reported that 85% of job listings are filled via networking.

If you’re slowly realising your own lack of connections and panicking — don’t. There are plenty of simple and effective ways you can build powerful network connections entirely from scratch. How do you think everyone else does it?

Raghav Haran of ‘Land Any Job You Want’ shares three tried and tested ways to build powerful connections that can give you an edge over your competition for jobs, opportunities and advice:

1. Let go of the fear of asking for help

“It’s awkward’

“It’s embarrassing”

“I don’t know what to say”

One of the most valuable actions you can take when you’re looking for a career change is to reach out to others for help.

Haran says we severely underestimate just how much people are willing to help us. Recent studies show the average person is 50 percent more willing to help than we anticipate!

  • Do a brainstorm. List all the friends, family, colleagues and friends of friends who could potentially help you.

  • Figure out exactly what you need help with. Keep this simple and to the point as it will help others know exactly what to do.

  • Write a template for contacting people and send it to at least three people by the end of the week.

Haran provides this super simple template:

Hi there,

How are things going? I was thinking about you the other day when I [insert: read an article, your name came up, etc], How’s [insert: what you’re working on] going? I hope all is well.

On my end, I’m looking for help with [insert: whatever you need help with] and thought that you’d be a great person to ask about that. Could you possibly [insert: favour]?

If not, no worries at all, just wanted to put it out there. Have a good one and if there’s anything I can possibly help with please let me know.

2. Contact people you’ve lost touch with.

Remember that person you worked with in high school? Yeah, now they’re working for your dream company. Contact them!

While using close networks is a good move, it’s actually better to use contacts you haven’t spoken to in a while. Why? Because we tend to be friends with people who are similar to us, meaning we tend to socialise, work with and connect to the same people over and over again.

If you really want to meet new people, form new connections and discover new opportunities then you’ll need to expand this circle. Using the same template Haran recommends from the previous point (adjusting it if you need to) connect with people you’ve lost touch with over the years.

3. Ask to be introduced

When all else fails, you’ll need to be introduced in person. Busy and successful people are often bombarded with messages asking for their help or advice. If you really want to stand out and get their attention, you’ll need to find a way to actually get in front of them.

The internet is great for connecting but face-to-face interaction is superior when it comes to forming deeper relationships. Make a list of all the hard to reach and inspiring people in your industry and look them up on LinkedIn. If you’re lucky, you should have at least a few mutual connections who you can reach out to and ask for an introduction. If not, you might have to do a bit more digging around.

In your message, you’ll want to make it clear why you want to be introduced, such as working for their company or interviewing them for your blog. Also, make sure this person actually feels comfortable reaching out on your behalf and ask how close their connection is. Offer whatever you can in return so that the other person feels valued, for example, asking if they’d like to be introduced to any of your contacts.

Moral of the story: Networking matters

There’s no denying that networking will be one of the most important and valuable aspects of your career. It can be the difference between coasting along and rising quickly through the ranks of success.

If you want to learn more about successful networking check out our Networking Course here on JBA. It will give you all the tools you need to become a networking superstar.

Feel the fear and do it anyway! You have nothing to lose.

You can get your first two courses free with our introductory offer.