Networking is a main part of the job search as well as overall professional development. Business relationships are not an idle operation; instead, networking should be done throughout your career. From building meaningful relationships, to helping others find meaningful connections, to searching for job opportunities, networking is beneficial in a variety of ways.
With so many possible gains from networking, it’s helpful to be sure you’re doing it as best as possible. Follow these simple and quick tips to make the most of your networking opportunities, no matter what your career stage.
Do’s & Don’ts of Networking
Do Prepare for an Event Ahead of Time
Rather than being completely unprepared, you should do a bit of research about the event and who might be attending. Since so much of the information can be found online, try to get an understanding of who is going and what their industry is. This is a great way to have some conversation ideas in mind.
Don’t Get Caught Up with Professional Jargon & Buzzwords
Nothing sounds more rehearsed and ingenuine than using too much jargon. Keep conversation genuine, appropriate, and professional. Discuss trends in the industry, personal hobbies and interests, or local economic development. Avoid sensitive and inappropriate topics, even if it falls into a current event. People are coming to connect with each other, not feel like they’re reading the news or gossip column.
Do Remember that Body Language is Meaningful
Your body language matters. When you meet someone and are building a connection, remember to keep eye contact while both speaking and listening. Actively listening to people shows them respect and will encourage a greater connection. Enjoy the time you’re spending with each person, rather than looking around the room, for the next group of people you want to meet.
Don’t Ramble too Much
A networking event is the perfect place to have an elevator pitch ready for answering, “What do you do?” While you don’t have to sound canned, you definitely don’t want to ramble on and on. Before attending a networking event, craft your elevator pitch that succinctly describes what you do while also being memorable. Strike a balance and be sure this concise elevator pitch also comes across as being authentic and conversational.
Do Seek Out Networking Opportunities
Even when you’re busy, you should find opportunities to network. Connecting with local professionals can obviously help your career development, but it can also help boost your motivation and inspiration. While updating your social media profiles and digital resumes are important, don’t avoid the in-person networking opportunities.
Need Professional Help Finding the Right Job?
If you feel like you’re ready for the pros to help you find the right job for your career, contact Axiom Staffing Group.