Networking Tips

2 v. 20—The Networking Paradox. To have a great conversation with 2 or 3 new contacts who really understand your objectives and for whom you can provide help, too, is success.  We offer you a chance to connect with these people—and also meet 20-30 others during the speed networking session.

Speed Networking. Speed networking allows you to meet many people in short period of time.  Each person has about 1-2 minutes to tell others who you are, what you do and want to do, and what a good lead is for you.  You’ll use your :30 elevator pitch during the speed networking session.  Be sure to be both broad and specific, mention target companies, industries, titles and key words.  The others will provide leads, referrals, contact names and suggestions.

Name Badges.  Always wear a professional name badge on the upper right hand side of the body.  High enough so that if someone forgets your name, he can easily look at the name badge without it being obvious.  In addition to your first name (large print) and last name (small print), include something about yourself that can be used as an ice-breaker.  (ie, company name, title, department, industry, college, major, etc.)

:30
Elevator Pitch.  Imagine you’re on an elevator and only have a few seconds to make an impression on the person with whom you are sharing the ride.  You have about 30 seconds to introduce yourself and clearly state your needs.  Make your pitch clear and precise, so the other person knows exactly what you do, and perhaps how you may work together. What is a good lead for you?  Whom do you want to meet?  A contact in a specific industry, company, or department?  Someone with a specific title?  A particular person? Your pitch may change depending on your audience.  Elevator pitches are dynamic, not static.  They should sound conversational, not rehearsed.

Business Cards. Your business card is essential to networking. In addition to your name, email, and phone number(s), your business card should include something about yourself so that when someone looks at the card a few weeks later, he will better understand what good referrals & introductions are for you.  You may consider including: job titles, skills, industries of interest, degree, and certification.

Email Address. This should always be professional.  You may want to create a secondary email account via Yahoo or another free service using your name (i.e. johndoe at yahoo.com).  (NOTE: Do not use "jobseeker at yahoo.com” or anything similar--it does not convey professionalism.)

Blurbs. When a person offers to make an introduction on your behalf, you may need to gently remind him.  Send a brief email stating where you met, the conversation you had, and how he offered to help you.  In a new paragraph tell what you can offer his contact.  You may want to use bullet points, include target niches/industries/companies.  End the note with your professional signature which should include your FULL name, email address, and telephone number.  He will be able to forward your email directly to his contact.  Remember to also ask this person how YOU can help him!  Do not send any attachments, unless this person specifically asked for information to forward along. (The exception being a resume sent to a recruiter or hiring manager who requested your resume.)

Career Plan.  A well-written career plan will help you identify target industries and companies, whether you are looking for new clients or a new job.  The top third looks like a resume, with your contact information and summary of qualifications & skills.  The bottom two thirds list 3-6 industries with 5-20 target companies.


Quotes from Debbie Rodkin:

What counts is not what you know, nor who you know: It’s Who Knows You!
Help others help you (by being specific about your objectives)
Be in the know: the more you help others, the more others will want to help you
Make others feel comfortable by introducing yourself
Volunteering is a great way to network!
Dress for success
Ask for advice (not a job)
Always wear a Professional Name Badge
Always Be Networking

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