Networking can sometimes be a very intimidating thing for some job seekers, but it is also a great way to make essential contacts. You never really know how being associated with someone can help you in the future, but it is helpful to always be prepared.
This is a list of helpful secrets to help you get organized before you attend a networking event or an individual meeting.
1. Create an elevator pitch
You should have some kind of idea of what you want to say prior to any encounters. A very good way to prepare for this is to create an elevator pitch, which is a 30-60 second summary about yourself. You want to get your point across as quickly as possible, but you also want to be able to sale your personal brand. An elevator pitch is a great opening statement to have in the back of your mind if you ever need it.
2. Know what it is that you are looking for
You should already know in your mind what you hope to achieve from networking. It could be to just merely get contacts, get a job, or gain some experience talking to other people. Whatever it is, you need to make it clear to yourself why you are doing this. Plus, you should have an idea of what industry you’re interested in and what type of job you are looking around for. Research is something that should be done was before you go out an try networking.
3. Always be yourself.
This is a phrase that has been said many time, but even though it may seen cliche, it is definitely the truth. Being the real you is an attribute that many employers and companies value, and hold dearly.
4. Look to expand your network
Something that you should remember about networking is that it is all about connecting with other people. This means that you must introduce yourself to individuals that are outside of your immediate circle. But working to expand your network, it will help you gain knowledge–and eventually receive a job!
5. Make sure to listen, not just talk
The people that you are networking with are more than likely going to have some valuable tips and advice, so it is very crucial that you listen to them. Be a part of the conversation is engaging other, and paying attention to another person is a great way to do this.
6. Ask open-ended question
It is a good idea to avoid asking things that will lead to a yes or a no answer because you’ll just grazes the surface of the conversation.
7. Follow up, follow up, follow up!
The last secret is one of the most important because it can lead to those future meetings. After attending and event or connecting with someone, it is so imperative to follow up with that. That way they can know that you are really and truly interested.