One of the most common interview generating activities is networking. A recent statistic shows that 80% of all jobs found are through networking. Networking can be nerve-wracking for many people because it involves meeting lots of new people at big conferences, networking events or career fairs.
The goal of networking is to meet people who are likely to be interested in your product or service. It is important to make an effort to meet these people. To make your networking experiences effective, a sharp focus and organization is required to ensure that your time as well as other people's time is well spent.
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Here are some helpful tips to remember before, during and after an event:
- Think quality, not quantity. Connect with the right people in the industry who would be interested in your service/product. If you've shook hands and exchanged business cards with 100 individuals, more than likely they will not do anything for you. If you carried on an intimate conversation with an individual for 15 minutes, that person will likely to be more than happy to help you with your career/job search.
- Business Cards. Be sure to take plenty of business cards wherever you go. If you do not have a business card, create one! Use your creativity to include snippets of your resume on the back of your business card as a healthy reminder to those whom you engaged in conversation.
- Keep it short and sweet. Before meeting someone, strategize and practice your summarized pitch of what you would like people to know about you.
- First Impressions! Be yourself, but be your best self. Remember to smile, give a firm handshake, maintain eye contact and a good posture. Demonstrating confidence is one of the most important elements to any successful networking experience. If you do not show confidence in promoting yourself, then no one will take notice of you.
- Emphasize your Uniqueness. Tell potential employers a few things that would make you attractive to them.
- Watch Your Language! Avoid telling jokes because you never know if the person you just met could consider your tale to be offensive or in poor taste. Also, use power words and utter them in confidence. Don't forget to focus the conversation on the other person rather than yourself because they will be more interested in talking with you.
- Future Contacts. Remember to collect business cards and make the appropriate follow-up as soon as possible. A key element in your follow-up email: try to keep the introduction email short and simple - just like a personal introduction. Many people do not have the time to read long paragraphs and letters. Make sure that your email subject line is specific.