Networking for Newbies

English: High Speed Business Networking Event ...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I know you’ve all heard it before but I’m going to tell you again – networking is one of the best ways to get a job. It turns you into a walking advertisement that people will remember much better who you are and what you are about.

Remember that the thing that works with networking is that you get to build relationships and trust with potential employers. You get the opportunity to show them who you really are. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you with your networking endeavors:

  • Know what your goals are when you walk into a room. This will help you find the right people to talk to (not that there is ever a wrong person to talk to at a networking event but there are some people that are more right – like the human resources person).
  • Remember – 4W’s and the H – who, what, where, when, and how. When you ask questions like these you are likely to get more valuable answers. Questions that result in a yes/no answer rarely give you the kind of information that you need.
  • Have valuable information at the ready. When people see you as intelligent and able to give informative answers they will come to your for information and resources and you will be at the forefront of their mind.
  • Have a great elevator speech. An elevator speech is named as such because you could use it in the time it takes an elevator to get to the top floor of a building. It should introduce you and give them enough information about you to have an idea of who you are. Make sure that you KNOW that elevator speech so well that you don’t stumble over the words and that you can say it naturally.
  • Get to know someone a bit before you give them your business card otherwise they will think you are pushy and rude and ultimately, unprofessional.
  • Take some time after the event to phone or email your referrals. Let them know you enjoyed talking to them and try to bring up something that you talked about. That way they will know you were listening!

What is your favorite networking tip?