Everybody knows that in this day and age, it’s not always about what you know, it’s who you know. During trying economic times like these, the key to landing your dream job is to stand out from the competition by showcasing both your talent and personality.
For a quick and painless networking experience, follow a few tips that will help you leave a lasting impression:
1. A handshake can make or break a first impression, so practice, practice, practice! Demonstrate your self-confidence and genuine interest by executing a firm shake.
2. Don’t be shy! Attend events related to the industry that you’re interested in and mingle. Whether you’re waiting in line at the coat check or sitting up at the bar, you just never know who you might meet.
3. While chatting it up with people you’ve just met, be sure to talk about topics other than the industry you’re trying to break into. Listen and ask questions. It’s important to showcase your personality, and who knows, maybe you’ll find out that you share common interests!
4. Don’t be too pushy. When meeting someone new, don’t simply shove your resume at them. Everyone knows you’re talented, so establish a friendship first. After all, no one likes to feel as though they’re being used.
5. When attending events, don’t forget to ask for a person’s business card or contact information at the end of a conversation. People love to know that others are interested in what they do, so chances are, they would love to continue talking with you, even if it’s just via email.
6. That being said, be ready to hand out a business card of your own! Some may think that business cards are outdated, but it’s a lot easier to remember to contact someone with a concrete reminder sitting in a coat pocket.
7. Stop apologizing. Too often, inexperienced networkers tend to apologize to those they’re reaching out to. If you don’t think you’re worth their time, why would they? And more importantly, networking doesn’t have to be a burden…just think of it as building new relationships!
8. People receive tons of emails each day, so it’s easy to miss one. To make a more lasting (and tangible!) impression, send a handwritten note when saying “thank you.” Even if it’s a coffee date with a friend of a friend, a handwritten note adds a personal touch as you thank someone for their time.
9. Follow up. Again, potential employers meet new people every day, so it’s important to stay on their radar by sending an email or making a call every few months. Just started a new internship? Finished an awesome class project? Let them know! It shows them you’re gaining experience and reminds them that you’re out there.
10. And finally, take a risk. Many people fear networking because they’re afraid they’ll be rejected. Such a fear will prevent you from meeting interesting (and interested!) people.