Networking events can be nerve-wracking and exhausting. And yet, networking is a critical component of the recruiting process for most jobs. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, it is more likely you will get a job through who you know rather than through your education or work experience.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of those networking sessions, follow my 3 rules for successful networking below!
1. Ask questions you truly want to hear the answers to
You know that the recruiters present at the networking event are going to be asked the same kinds of questions dozens of times throughout the evening. So rather than asking the mundane “What is your background?” or “What do you do?”, ask questions you are really curious about, such as “What are some of the best things about working where you do?” These questions are more interesting to answer, and definitely more interesting to hear.
2. Approach people as trusted advisors, not higher-ups
If you are at a networking event looking for a job, you may feel nervous speaking with others who might potentially be your higher-ups or bosses. But the point of a networking event is to establish relationships – those potential higher-ups or bosses also had a reason for attending the networking event! Instead of clamming up when introducing yourself to or meeting someone, treat your new acquaintance as a trusted advisor, colleague, or mentor. You’ll find it a lot easier to let the conversation flow.
3. Be yourself
Finally (and this is common sense), be yourself. Though you should likely be more formal with your new acquaintances at a networking event than you would be with your best friend, you should express your personality. In the event that you end up working with someone you met at a networking event, they will get to know the real you, so there is no point in keeping up any (tiring) facades.
While networking events are great places to meet potential future employers or colleagues, they are also fun ways to learn about new companies, meet new friends, and maybe even practice one or two of your funny/corny jokes. Don’t take yourself too seriously and remember to have a good time!
PS: In case you want more specifics on what NOT to say during an interview, read this helpful article!
Keep on Crushin’,