As a student or a professional, you may hear everyone talk about how important networking is. You may have attended networking events and found them to be a total bore and waste of time. Professional people bragging about their success, others asking questions and forcing a smile throughout the whole process. We totally understand your position, so here are some tips and tricks to boost your skills in networking.
1) Consider Their Network
If you believe a certain someone is not worth your time, don’t completely shut them out. Think about the other person’s network as someone from their network could potentially be able to help you. Be respectful.
2) Quality Over Quantity
Don’t go to events if you simply want to surround yourself with a crowd of people. Networking events are meant for you to meet individuals. That way, you’ll be able to have memorable conversations with industry experts and inspiring workers. If you are there to grab a business card and go, this may cause you more harm than help. This is because you are not gaining any valuable information about the business or the person since no interpersonal connection has been established.
3) Take Notes
After having a wonderful conversation with an industry expert and grabbing their card, write some quick notes down on the card for future reference. This will eliminate any confusion in the future if you are contacting the said individual.
4) An Open Posture
Posture speaks a lot about an individual. It is important to present yourself as open and inviting. Don’t have your arms or legs crossed as this may convey that you are shy or unfriendly.
5) Follow Up
The most important aspect of networking events is following up. By following up, you are taking a step towards creating a personal connection with the experts. Keep in mind that it is important to do this within a 72-hour period of the event. This is to ensure that the other individual hasn’t forgotten about you.
6) Question & Answer
Instead of continuing to talk about yourself, stop and ask questions. Get to know the other person and hear about their story. See what they can offer you and the opportunities that their friendship presents. It is important to listen carefully rather than talk endlessly. Note key points and follow up on them with questions to show your interest on the topic at hand. Make sure that the questions are engaging and lead to a deeper discussion.
We hope that with these simple but useful tips you are ready to rock your next networking event. To give you an opportunity to practice your networking skills, PICS is hosting the Mega Job Fair on August 3rd. Come and enhance your network!!
By Manuja Gupta