With back to back networking events at Cobb Galleria Centre this week, here are some helpful tips for making those valuable connections.
1. Remember names, Levo League Career Development
In the first moments of career advice swapping, sharing experiences, and constructing relevant questions, remembering names can become the most forgotten of networking tools. While remembering names might be difficult under the pressure of a first meeting, it is one of the keys to building a strong network in your field.
If keeping names in your head is not your strongest skills, try techniques like repeating their name 10-15 times, visualizing writing the name down, or actually write the name down on a notepad. Asking for a business card is also helpful, and having their contact information will be crucial if you find that you want to reach out further.
2. Listen more than you talk, Atlanta Business Chronicle
If you are at a networking event or set up a meeting with another professional, it is with the intention of gaining some expertise, connections, or new business. Lead the conversation based on what your goals are, but include a lot of open-ended questions that allow for freedom in response.
Most importantly, listen closely to how they answer the questions and take notes. Using pen and paper will force you to focus and make the other person know that their responses are valuable. Also, notes will be a useful reference later when you have follow-up questions.
3. Find people you are interested in, University of Georgia
Reach out to people with shoes you would one day like to walk in, whose career and life you are genuinely interested. You may think you want to litigate, to work in a lab, or to brainstorm creative content, but the best way to actually know what you want to do is to talk to someone in the field. Remember, you are not asking for a handout, only some time and information which most people are ready, willing, and able to give.
4. Don’t always tell yourself “no.”, Georgia Institute of Technology
“If a company is known as an aerospace company, that does not mean they are only recruiting aerospace engineers,” says Dennis Lindsay, Career Development Advisor at Georgia Tech. Do not limit yourself by what you think the company has to offer. Look through their website, or ask another professional at a networking event if they have a contact in your field.
5. Build a Social Media Presence, Princeton University
With most organizations having a social presence today, social media networking has become a powerful resource for career and network development. Start by building your personal brand through professional engagement and content creation. Keep status updates and tweets enthusiastic and relevant.
Identify thought leaders and organizations in your field to stay updated on topics and trends. Make an effort to connect with them and be clear about why you are interested in their work. Eventually you will see an entire network form out of fellow students, professionals, professors, family, friends, and others that may lead you to a unique opportunity in the future.
For information on more networking events, visit Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Atlanta Business Chronicle.