It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know….right?
Even the perfect skill set, education and employment record can still be passed up if you aren’t getting the information in front of the right people.
Networking events are a great opportunity to meet new contacts face to face and hopefully open a few doors for you in the future.
But what if you are shy and scared of walking up to a stranger?
We have some tips to help get you started.
- Approaching people – Smile! Try to approach a smaller group or just one individual if possible. Ask if you can join them and try to comment on something you may have in common.
- Be Approachable – Check your body language! Do not cross your arms or talk on your phone. Make eye contact and be the first to shake hands!
- Be Memorable – It is very important to make a good first impression! Share any interesting stories that are professional and work related, listen and engage in their stories too.
- Have Self-Confidence – Confidence will gradually increase the more prepared you feel. Read the morning paper, magazines, news articles and have conversation starters to help keep the conversation going. Remember you are there to gain valuable career contacts!
- Overcome Shyness – 90% of people consider themselves somewhat shy, so you are not alone on this! Observe other conversations and learn from the best networkers in the room. Even copy some of their gestures.
- Keep the Conversation Going – Small talk is going to happen at first until you find something that you have in common. Listen to them and eventually that will help develop rapport. Which will make it more likely for them to want to add you to their network leading to more serious conversations.
- Get Business Cards – The best way to get a business card is to offer yours first! If you are a job seeker make sure it lists some of your accomplishments or areas of expertise! Make sure all of your professional contact information is listed and easy to read.
Networking should not be any different than any other skill. It is something that can be taught and improved upon! Practice makes perfect and the more you put yourself out there the faster you will become a pro at it!
*Career Advisor – Candidate Next Step – Important Announcement –Barb Bruno – March 2, 2016