Written by Sophie Down | July 1, 2015
When it comes to networking, it’s important to get it right. You can meet huge amounts of people and take their information, but it doesn’t always result in you getting something, unless it’s done the right way.
Walking into a room full of strangers doesn’t always make networking easy. So, Webrecruit looks at top tips for effective networking to ensure you are expanding your career opportunities.
1. Define Your Goals
What are you looking to achieve at the event or meeting? Think about your career goals, and merge them with what you can potentially learn whilst networking to set realistic objectives.
The more you concentrate on what you can offer, what you are trying to achieve, and how you can communicate, the better quality your connections will be.
2. Follow Up
If you’ve met an individual that you had an interesting conversation with, don’t forget to follow up with them. The only way you can continue to benefit from networking with them is to carry on the communication.
Try following up with a piece from the conversation you had, to help them remember you not just at that moment, but in the future as well.
3. Prepare Your Pitch
Okay, so it’s not so much a pitch, but a story. When others ask what you do, make it interesting and show them your passion.
Instead of just passing over a business card, try to make it a little less formal and say something memorable, to keep the interest of those that you are talking to.
4. Create a Positive Impression
First impressions in networking situations are everything. People want to connect with positive individuals, so look to listen well and offer help to others.
If you come across as someone who wants to help others in their career, they will appreciate your willingness to do something for them, and are more likely to return the favour.
5. Use Social Networks
Never underestimate online resources, such as LinkedIn. This is a great way to connect with those you have spoken to, or get in touch with those you would like to speak to.
Joining groups and connecting with others online is a great way to get in the know about your industry, from events to helpful content and job openings.
6. Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone
One of the most important rules of achieving great contacts is to go beyond your comfort zone. Introduce yourself to those who you may not normally speak to, and say yes to events of interest to you, wherever you may be.
Be confident when talking to others and look to get a clear message across. Remember that networking is essentially about marketing yourself, so never stop building your brand.
The moral of the story is that you get out of networking what you put in. And, you should seek to build relationships with others rather than collate a stack of contact information.
Find the best techniques that work for you to get comfortable with networking, and you’ll reap the benefits in the long term.