We all know networking is important but the actual experience of attending a networking event can be challenging. Review this article to learn the ins and outs of attending a networking event. Ranging from pre-event planning, creating an effective introduction, identifying good contacts at events to the mechanics of working the room as well as tips and tricks for handling challenges at event, we got you covered!
Research Who is Coming
Prior to going to an event, have an understanding of who will be there. Use available resources such as Facebook, Linkedin, handouts and company websites to prepare yourself. Research before an event can lead to more educated questions and, in turn, show your interest in the company to recruiters / employers. After you have confidentially obtained useful information, stand out to recruiters / employers by reiterating what you have learned.
Practice Your Pitch
After you have finished gathering research, begin to rehearse what you plan on saying. Organize your ideas on papers and elaborate on them. Practice your speech in the mirror and pay close attention to your body language. Also take the time to record yourself. Highlight how often you use Filler-Words and work on removing them. Furthermore, take note on how long you are talking and edit your speech to an appropriate time.
Dress to Impress
Avoid wearing informal clothing such as jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers. The way you present yourself is the first thing an employer will notice about you. Create a great first impression by wearing professional attire. In addition to being well dressed, make sure your hair is neat, nails are cut and that you are well presentable.
Keep in mind that part of a conversation is listening. Most of us follow a tendency to worry about what to say next, which takes us out of the conversation. Nothing impresses a recruiter more than someone who can respond to a question and keep the conversation moving. Do not be afraid to ask for clarification.
Establish a good rapport with the recruiter / employer by being well organized, confident and charming. Avoid topic points such as pay, politics and religion. Begin with an introduction about where you are from and your career interest. From there, the recruiter will ask you questions; so be prepared to answers them. Finally, have about 2 -3 questions ready. It is important to ask at least one question on work / skill expectations so you can reframe their answer into one of your strengths. Do not to forget to ask for an email or a channel to follow up with.
Be Respectful of the Time
Keep the conversation to about 5-8 minutes long. You can always return to say goodbye on your way out to make a final impression.
Writing a follow up email to an employer, after conversing with them, is an important part of the networking process. The follow up letter/email provides you with an opportunity to reiterate your interest and express your appreciation. It is also a great way for the applicant to share any additional information or questions. Example below.
Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with me to discuss the opportunities at Company ABC. I also want to thank you for sharing my resume with your network. As I mentioned during our conversation, I am passionate about the Entertainment Industry and I aspire to sharpen my skills in data analytics and persuasive writing. I also appreciate the advice and guidance you offered me and I will begin to (work on something that they suggested). As you may remember, I have skills in social media platforms, CRM and SQL and will be able to analyze customer traffic and behavior from online platforms. I have also attached a copy of my resume in case you decide to send it to another person in your network.
Please let me know if I can provide you with any additional information about my background or goals. If acceptable, I would also like to connect with you on LinkedIn. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-555-1234.
– Published by Talha Nadeem. Mr. Nadeem is a Communications Intern with Starr and a Staff Writer at the Ticker. He is majoring in English with a minor in Psychology. He is an avid book reader with his favorite genres including science fiction and detective noir. (February 13th, 2018)
– Edited by Harrison Anastasio. Mr. Anastasio is the Marketing Assistant with Starr.