"What brings you here?" or "Tell me about yourself." is most often the first question you're asked at a networking event. So, be prepared with an elevator pitch. (A trick for beginners: The first conversation is always hard. Nevertheless, dive in. This works in your favor. Be the first to break the ice and ask the question).
Use the 30 seconds in your elevator pitch wisely! Introducing yourself as well as expressing your intent and passion are key to being remembered.
If you are in the middle of a job search, having an online presence is important. Make it easier for recruiters and people you network with to reach out to you. Have a profile on LinkedIn and if you want to be creative, make a video profile or resume website. You can also incorporate your elevator pitch in and mention that you are exploring job opportunities. (A trick for beginners: Make a LinkedIn profile, before you go to your first event. If you have one already, make sure it is updated).
Dress professionally and go 15 minutes early to a networking event. Remember this: Early bird gets the worm! The crowd is still small. You have more time to relax, walk around and find people you want to speak to.
Take your business cards and don't forget to get the contact information of people you speak to. (Your connections will broaden the world you live in). Reach out to them after the event with a follow-up or thank you message, so that you always leave a good impression.
Learning from others’ experiences can save you from having to learn by yourself. The informational interview is a powerful career resource. Reach out to people through LinkedIn or other mutual connections (A trick for beginners: Emails are the best mode of communication here). Be polite, clear and honest in your requests for information.
The World Is Your Oyster (at least, if you want it to be). Don't hesitate to ask questions. We are all learning.
Listen to our podcast 5 StepsAHEAD