Hello Jobscan members!
Nowadays, in order to be a successful networker, it seems a person must be able to tweet, post, comment, like, and share with all the omniscient force of Ryan Seacrest or a web-shattering backside.
The reality is that many great networkers rely on other, eh, assets to build a strong network and garner loyal followers. The star of The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon is a prime example of such qualities and he has an incredible career.
We at Jobscan.co would like to share Jimmy’s top six qualities (ranked and dubbed by careerealism.com as “The Jimmy Fallon Effect”) that make him such an extraordinary networker.
1. Be Sincere and Genuinely Interested
You get a sense that if you were to run into Jimmy on the street, he would be exactly as he is on his show. And he is because he doesn’t try to be anyone other than his goofy, open, awkward, silly self.
“Sincerity is a key trait of great networkers” (careerealism.com) as followers feel they can trust the network and its motives. Trying to make something “bigger and badder” than what it is will only spawn suspicion and distrust.
Jimmy’s sincerity is a recognizable trait and one of his greatest strengths when interviewing the wide scope of entertainers that stop by his show: from actors to musicians, athletes, authors, TV personalities, celebrities, cooks, and newscasters.
No matter what content it brought to the show, Jimmy appears to be genuinely interested. He transforms into a big schoolboy behind the teacher’s desk: asking questions, listening intently, and making relevant comments.
His guests never feel ignored or shorthanded. Loyal and potential followers of a network should feel that same satisfaction. Why should followers remember you if they feel insincere vibes or disinterest from you?
2. Be Positive and Enthusiastic
Jimmy is basically a real-life Olaf from Frozen. It seems nothing can deter that incredible positivity and enthusiasm. Any endeavor fueled by a sunny demeanor will fly further than one half-heartedly propelled by a Debbie Downer. A network powered by such magnetism draws people in and inspires confidence, which can open doors for you.
For example, Jimmy has been successful asking his guests to participate in many of his funny gags, including Will.i.am to co-write a novelty single for the teenage girl segment, “Ew!” and Jay Leno to return as a guest and perform standup.
No matter how qualified or unqualified a person is, if they bring enough positivity and enthusiasm with them, they are more likely to succeed, whether that is accruing new network followers, reconstructing your entire resume for a career change, or nailing that first interview!
3. Humble Team Player
Jimmy’s repertoire with the show’s announcer, Steve Higgins, is a great partnership. Especially when they just let loose and the cracks and sound effects are flying. They support each other onstage and the same can be said of Jimmy’s on-stage antics with The Roots, the show’s band.
Jimmy makes a point to acknowledge those onstage with him, whether it’s Higgins, The Roots, or a guest. He’s the show’s star but he’s not just networking for himself. He’s “super-connecting”, focusing on creating collaborations between people within his network. Whenever The Roots crank out a new album out or one of his writers has written a book, Jimmy makes sure to give it a shout-out on the show.
“Super-connecting” is crucial to networks because it creates virtual hubs for followers to network within your network.
Large companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to “super-connect” employees. ATSs collect and filters outside resumes coming in but it also stores resume information on current employees, allowing them to be considered for openings too.
No matter how bright and star-studded your network becomes, staying dedicated to your longest fans will only make your network stronger.
“There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”
This was famously said by Jimmy’s good pal, the hilarious Amy Poehler but Jimmy fits the boot too. Jimmy’s confidence in all his silliness makes his jokes pop, his musical and physical comedy snap, and all his silly segments shine (“Ew!”). It takes a very confident man to dress up as a teenage girl in a pink dress.
This goes hand-in-hand with being positive and enthusiastic but there are situations where confidence’s more grounded approach is more effective. For example, explaining on a resume why you were fired from your previous job. Being confident enough to admit your mistakes to the recruiter isn’t silly at all.
Jimmy tackles his mistakes by acknowledging them. Like any comedian, his jokes sometimes fall flat or a new segment will fail fabulously (no offense, but Hashtag the Panda has got to go) but Jimmy is able to laugh about the effort and learn from his mistakes, which is what every successful networker must do: be confident enough to fail so they can succeed.
Networks have a responsibility to stay relevant to their loyal followers and that includes staying “up-to-date” with the times. Or at least aware of what’s trending, what’s current. The jokes on The Tonight Show poke fun at current issues, whether it be sports or politics. Perhaps one of his more successful segments is “Hashtags” where he reads jokes by his viewers off the show’s Twitter.
Staying current is more than dishing the latest news. The ability to be adaptable as a network is key to garnering new followers, keeping pace with existing members, and basically, staying alive.
Trivia: Anyone remember Myspace?
6. Respectful and Thankful
It’s impossible to achieve success alone. And networks never ever make it alone. At the end of the day, a network is for its followers and would not exist if not for its followers (no matter how good it is).
Jimmy is respectful to every guest on his show and thanks every audience that attends. He values their participation during the live tapings and through the show’s website and Twitter.
A simple thank you or follow-up goes a long ways. Many overlook follow-ups for submitted job applications, for job interviews, to new members of your network.
The trick is not gaining as many followers as possible but keeping them. Being respectful and grateful to anyone you encounter in your network is a must and what will make your network extraordinary.
By Millie Reinhardsen