How To Network

Credit: Molly Perryman

Credit: Molly Perryman

Molly has been attending a lot of networking events recently and is now an expert at the meet’n’greet. Here she shares with you some top tips to ensure you can get ahead.

Networking can be an awkward situation, especially if you’re not sure what you’re actually supposed to do. Good networking can help make valuable connections for your future. It’s an important skill and I’ve had to learn how to make the most of events where there’s an opportunity to meet someone who might be able to help me with my career. When I first started going to these events, I was too nervous to talk to anyone. Now, though, I’m an expert. Maybe that’s my big bit of advice. Go to lots of these events and they’ll seem less scary. In the meantime, though, here are my top tips for attending networking events:

Didn’t catch all of the pointers? Here is a breakdown:

1. Be Early

Credit: Molly Perryman

Credit: Molly Perryman

Being early may allow you that golden schmoozing time that most people wait until the end  to get. Being early also makes you seem keen, which is good at a networking event. Just don’t be a pest.

2. Firm Handshake

Credit: Molly Perryman

Credit: Molly Perryman

A floppy or sweaty or super-tight handshake might distract the person into thinking of how floppy or sweaty or tight the handshake was instead of listening to what you have to say. Just be confident in your handshake and all thoughts should be focused on you, not your hands.

3. show An Interest In The Person Of Importance

Credit: Molly Perryman

Credit: Molly Perryman

People love to talk about themselves, so sometimes you have to pipe down and let others do the talking. Listening and engaging into what they have to say shows the person you are interested in what they have to say (even if you’re not)…

4. Make The Person Of Importance Have An Interest In You

Credit: Molly Perryman

Credit: Molly Perryman

…but the ultimate aim is getting a balanced conversation to get all the information you needed. Sometimes people may be too busy to spend a lot of time on conversation with you so getting contact information will allow you to resume conversation another, more suitable time.

5. Join A Group Of Three For Extra Networking

Credit: Molly Perryman

Credit: Molly Perryman

It is worth chatting to a range of people as you don’t know who you might meet who could be beneficial to you. To avoid the  awkwardness of butting in on someone’s conversation, join a group of three as only one person can talk whilst the other two people listen. It is a good chance to join and move the conversation on to talk to the most interesting out of the three.

6. Show Enthusiasm

Credit: Molly Perryman

Credit: Molly Perryman

Showing enthusiasm and passion will show you care about the topic of conversation. Sometimes, researching certain people and businesses may help push a conversation forward and show that you know about them.

7. Follow Up With Un-Needy Emails

Credit: Molly Perryman

Credit: Molly Perryman

Whether you are looking for work experience, a meeting or a job, following up with the person(s) of importance is a good way to maintain a professional relationship and could open doors. Just don’t over do it. If they haven’t replied in over a week then maybe a little polite nudge might help but if there is no reply at all then don’t waste your time waiting for the people to get back to you.

8. Maintain Networking Relationships

Credit: Molly Perryman

Credit: Molly Perryman

Social media plays a part in keeping connections. Ask if someone has a Twitter account or Linked:In profile or even a Facebook page you can like to keep the connection flowing. Remember that potential employers may check you out on social media so don’t post anything that might blow your chances yet take advantage of the sites to show how brilliant you are at what you do.

Hope these things help anyone in need of networking advice. In the meantime let us know if you got any more tips @rifemag