Whether you are currently looking for job opportunities, a new role at your company, or advice and feedback from people in your field, networking plays a vital role in your professional growth. According to CNBC, 70% of jobs are never published on job searching websites, and up to 50% to 80% of jobs are filled through networking.
It’s not just about what you know, it’s also about who you know. In today’s world, having a strong network of connections can open doors to exciting career opportunities. While online networking has its advantages, there is an undeniable value in in-person interactions. In today’s blog, we will give you three tips for effective in-person networking.
1. Attend in-person events.
You know networking is important, but where exactly can you have conversations with like-minded individuals who work in your industry? It can be intimidating to put yourself out there, mostly if you don’t know where. Fortunately, there are many events geared towards networking and making business connections. You can start by looking for networking events being held in your area. These events offer a focused environment where you can actively seek individuals who share your passion and drive, discuss ideas, industry challenges, and form connections. These events are often sponsored by local chambers, business groups, and industry-specific organizations. Look at their websites and subscribe to their newsletters to be notified about opportunities.
Another great way to build your network is through attending conferences. Picture yourself surrounded by industry leaders, innovators, and colleagues sharing their wisdom. You can attend workshops, conference sessions, and network with the people around you during free time before and after the sessions. When you attend these events, remember to embrace the opportunity to engage in conversations, share your experiences, and learn from others. You’ll get out of it what you put into the experience.
2. Know How to Pitch Yourself
When you are networking with someone in-person, it is not only important to know where to go, but what to say. Let’s say you meet someone you want to have a conversation with. One of the first questions they are going to ask is, “Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?” That is a broad question, so what is the best way to answer it?
It is crucial to be able to effectively present yourself and communicate your abilities. Crafting an elevator pitch can help you make a memorable impression and leave others intrigued with your abilities and skillset. Your pitch should include a brief personal history, highlighting key achievements. Also, you can connect your past experiences with the future position you aspire to hold. Finally, conclude your pitch by asking for a recommendation of a company that aligns with your career goals. Keep in mind that most elevator pitches should only last about 30 seconds, so keep it concise and relatable.
3. Gather contact information and follow up.
While you’re networking, it is important to build connections that you can potentially reach out to in the future. When you’ve had a positive conversation with someone, ask for their contact information. You can do this by exchanging business cards or connecting on professional networking platforms, like LinkedIn, to maintain those connections beyond the event. Once you’ve collected their contact details, make it a priority to follow up shortly after the meeting. Sending a personalized message expressing your pleasure in meeting them can go a long way.
In-person networking is a powerful tool for professional growth. By attending industry events, crafting an impressive pitch, and following up with contacts, you can make the most out of your networking experience. So, step out of your comfort zone, attend those events, and engage with fellow professionals. You never know where your next meaningful connection may lead you.
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