Preparing for Your First Networking Event | Nikolas Onoufriadis | Professional Overview
Networking is a vital part of any job search, and it’s something that most people have heard about a thousand times. So, when you heard about a meet-and-network event happening in your field, you jumped at the chance.
Networking is much more than just meeting people. It’s also about building strong relationships and sharing what you know about yourself. It’s about learning more about people and developing valuable connections that will help you in the future.
Before going to a networking event, you should set goals that you want to achieve while there, dress to impress, and bring your business cards to hand out. If you want the event to be successful, you need to have a game plan.
What To Do While at the Event
1. Introduce Yourself
When you meet someone new, make eye contact and smile while introducing yourself. Be sure to introduce yourself with a firm handshake and a brief statement of your first and last name. After that, use the other person’s name twice while you’re talking. This will help you recall the details of the conversation and make you appear genuinely interested.
2. Listen Before Speaking
One of the most important networking secrets is to let the other person speak first. This strategy will allow you to get the other person’s attention and make them more focused on you. If the other person is already focused on what they are going to say, they’ll be less likely to listen to what you’re saying.
3. Show Interest
Before you meet another person, make sure that you have a good question to ask. This will show the other person that you’re genuinely interested in their work and background.
4. Don’t Talk Too Much
You should state what you do in just a couple of sentences. This will allow the other person to easily understand what you’re talking about and make you appear genuinely interested in the other person. Also, avoid using industry jargon. It’s important to build rapport so that the other person can easily understand what you’re saying.
5. Take Notes
Since you probably won’t remember everything that happened during the conversation, it’s important to write down the details of the conversation. After you’ve met a few people, take a break from the activity and make notes on the back of the business cards of the other people. This will help keep track of the details of the conversation and make it easier to follow up with them.
After the event has finished, be sure to follow up with any attendee you want to network with. You will soon realize that networking is a valuable tool to use.