Networking is more than just appearing at an event and smiling at random industry professionals. It is breaking out of your comfort zone and putting yourself out there to increase the chances of getting hired.
Here are some tips and tricks to ace any networking event:
- Be Prepared
You’ll be meeting a lot of potentially important people, so it’ll do you well to practice your self-introduction a few times. Keep the standard lines, but adapt your pitch to who you’re meeting and why you’re meeting them. Remember to have your name cards ready too!
- Be Engaging
Do not just stand by the food and drinks during the event, as tempting as it might be. Move around, talk to a lot of people to build your contacts and always be engaging. Maintain eye contact, listen more than you talk and be confident. It doesn’t hurt to have interesting and relevant anecdotes as well.
- Be Professional
Always maintain a certain level of professionalism, even when you’ve built a rapport with the people you’re networking with.
- Be Inquisitive
No, not be a kaypoh. Ask clever questions that would get you noticed by a potential employer. It is also the difference between being remembered or not. Good questions tend to lead to deeper conversations, which could be beneficial to you to gain insights on the industry.
- Be on-the-ball
What we mean is, to always follow up after the event. It is also recommended to follow up with an email after the event (just so they remember you). Exchanging contacts alone isn’t enough, you should be able to build a relationship, find common interests, keep the genuine friendship going, while at the same time – keeping it professional.
Remember these tips and you’re on your way to being a professional networker (well, sorta). In any case, we hope you’re feeling more prepared than you were before reading this article. Here’s wishing you all the best for your first networking event!