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Consider this example. Two credit managers, both with similar resumes, are vying for the same position within a company. Who gets the job, since both candidates (at least on paper) are so similar? The answer is easy: the one whose resume was hand-delivered to the boss’ desk by their contact, who works at the company.

Some individuals prefer to let their work speak for itself, and they trust others to recognize their worth.  This sounds good in theory, but falls short in practice.  In a difficult economy, one of your goals should be to increase your visibility through networking.  Gone are the days when you’d apply to a blind ad in the newspaper and then get the job. With trade associations and social media set up to help you be a better networker, now more than ever there are numerous ways in which the credit pros can increase their visibility.  Here are some ideas for doing so:

  • Participate in one or more industry credit groups
  • Volunteer for leadership positions inside and outside of your company
  • Be the first, not the last person to volunteer for special assignments at work
  • Always attend optional company-sponsored events
  • Attend trade shows and industry functions, such as the CMA Annual Meeting or Western Region Credit Conference, and participate in the receptions and networking activities
  • Build up your LinkedIn profile and participate in LinkedIn groups specific to your area of expertise, such as the Credit Management Association LinkedIn group
  • Become a powerful resource for the members of your expanding network by positioning yourself as a thought leader

Do not assume that hard work alone will get you noticed.  The value of networking is more important than ever. Make networking a part of your routine.

What are your most valuable networking activities, and why? As always, I welcome your feedback.

Michael Dennis is the author of the Encyclopedia of Credit (www.encyclopediaofcredit.com), a free, fast, internet resource for credit and collection professionals.  He is a consultant, and the author of “Credit and Collection Forms and Procedures Manual” as well as a frequent instructor at CMA-sponsored educational events.  He can be contacted at 949-584-9685.

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