About 85% of jobs are filled through networking, so if you don’t meet or talk to anyone, your chances of getting a job are slim (~15%). Don’t like those odds? Start your networking now! But before you begin, read these tips so you can maximize every networking opportunity:
Take a break from Fortnite and research the featured recruiters and organizations before you attend an event.
Check out Eventbrite for workshops, events, and conferences to learn more about industries you’re interested in. There may be some free in your area.
Dress to impress. Stick to appropriate clothing for your environment and leave the Supreme apparel and Uggs at home.
Scared of attending alone? …you’re not alone in this. Most people won’t attend if they’re solo, so ask a friend! Find a partner and join group conversations to warm yourselves.
Don’t know if you can join a group conversation? Look at how they’re positioned. Proceed if they’re angled outward and open, but move on if they’re tilted inward and closed.
Hold your drink in your left hand – this prevents condensation and moisture on your right (shaking) hand.
When you greet someone, shake their hand firmly. A firm handshake exudes confidence. Even if you’re not a confident person, mastering the handshake will improve your confidence.
Maintain eye contact! It’s very disrespectful to look around at other people when you’re engaged in a one-on-one conversation.
Listen! Listen! Listen! When the other people are talking, don’t merely nod along while thinking of how to respond – you’ll forget what they’ve said.
Prepare a friendly and approachable smile. It leaves a strong, positive, and long-lasting impression. Leave your resting b*tch face at home.
Body language is equally as important as verbal language. Look at your hand gestures when you speak and ask your friends if they’re distracting.
Never dismiss anyone you meet – everyone is important. The world is more globalized and smaller than you know.
Say their name! You’re (probably) not networking with Destiny’s Child, but enunciating their name will make the conversion more personal and that person will appreciate that you’ve remembered their name out of the many people you’ve met. It also helps when you’re adding people on LinkedIn.
Don’t have a business card? Don’t panic. Take your phone (on silent) from your pocket and add them on LinkedIn.
Sending a follow-up email and LinkedIn request to the recruiter after meeting is as important as a follow-up email after an interview. You only have 24 hours to send a follow-up email, so don’t forget!
Don’t apologize for requesting a meeting. Inexperienced networkers apologize when they ask for help because they misunderstand networking as an imposition, rather than an exercise in relationship.