The idea of networking used to make me feel like I was on a roller coaster of emotions. I would get sweaty palms, feel nervous, and have a slightly queasy stomach. I realized though this is how most people probably feel when they are in a room full of strangers that they are trying to win over and get to know- especially when your career path is involved! As students in university, it is crucial for us to network especially with graduation right around the corner. We all want to land the job of our dreams and these events make that more possible! So, since I have attended numerous networking events I thought I would share my tips on how to be effective at these events!
Start networking before you need it.
By networking early, you can focus on building relationships rather than being self-serving. Recruiters and others can also tell when you are just looking to land a job rather than building valuable connections. Also, you know what they say the early bird gets the worm!
Go in with a plan!
Before you attend any networking event, make sure to go over your resume to know the skills, strengths, and talents that you bring to the table. This way you have an idea of some points you want to touch on and you can show that you offer value to any company. Also, most times you can find out who will be at the event. So, look up some information on the companies that are attending so you have something to start a conversation. It also makes you look like great!
Don’t underestimate people!
At most of these events, there will be people from various companies and positions. Don’t make the mistake of discounting people due to their titles. Find the value in everyone that you speak to. Also, who knows the person you might have dismissed could be someone who ends up being at the job interview!
Choose the right events.
When selecting the events you go to make sure you choose wisely. Attend events that are geared towards your career path. This way you know that the people there are actively seeking to make connections with people within the same industry. Also, make sure you go to events that offer value and fit you. Don’t go to an event for an industry or type of company you could never see yourself working for.
This last one might seem silly, but when I say connect it means to make connections that will stand after the event is over. Be prepared and have business cards or a resume(if allowed) ready to hand out. Also, if you connect with someone at the event ask for his or her business card. This way you can reach out to them after the event is over. Personally, I like to try to connect with people on LinkedIn after meeting them at the event. This way you can send them a personalized messaging telling them it was great meeting them. It will also allow them to see your profile and learn more about you. Who knows… maybe they will see value in you and even offer you an interview or discuss career opportunities! You never know!
Well, I hope you enjoyed my top 5 tips and put them to great use in the future. Remember, these networking events aren’t only for those who are graduating, as you want to make meaningful connections as soon as possible! Also be sure to check out TRSM Career Centre website for upcoming events so you can put these tips to the test!
Share with me in the comments your best and worst networking experiences!