Networking events are an excellent opportunity for the company to get a look at you and actually have a conversation with you. When they receive applications and resumes, it lacks how the person is portrayed accurately. Compared to when you speak and communicate with a person. Here are some ways to help you make a good impression on a networking event.
Research The Company
Companies that are going to be a part of a networking event usually register in advance. The host of the networking event will post all the companies that are going to be in the event. Just take some time before you go to the networking event and see the companies that are coming and research some information about the company. It will show that you did not just wander into the event, but that you are genuinely interested in the company and want to know more about the company that you can potentially be working for in the future.
Dress The Part
Dress like the job that you want to have when you attend the networking event. Go the extra step with your outfit by wearing a suit or dress clothes. It will help you stand out to the company representatives. Take a little extra time than usual to make sure you are also well-groomed for the event. It is the way that you present yourself that is a part of the difference between the person that did and the person that did not.
Before you start in with your elevator speech, make sure you introduce yourself. The elevator speech should give the company representative an idea of who you are and what you want to do. There is a rule of thumb that says an elevator speech should be about 30 seconds long but can be up to 60 seconds. It allows the person to know what your values are, what makes unique, and your goal. It will help the company to know you better and help them decide if you have a good fit for the company.
Business cards are an excellent way for the company’s representative to remember you when the networking event is over. A business card is simple to create. If you do not have a position in a firm quite yet, you can put your college information on it, such as the school name and the year of anticipated graduation. Then just add in your contact information (phone, LinkedIn information, and email address). If you put a phone number on your card, make sure that you have your voice mail set up. Some employers will not leave a message because they are not sure if they have the right person. It can sometimes feel awkward to give someone your business card, but this was the research done, and the connection made that makes it easier to give your card to the representative. You can make a business card with an Avery templet or go to an office supply store that offers business card services (Staples, Office Depot, FedEx, or Vistaprint).
Even when you are just standing, you are portraying a form of body language. The best way to make a good impression during a networking event is to have a firm handshake to make good eye contact with the representative. Shift eyes can make you look like you are lying and make a bad impression with the representative. Posture is important. Good posture shows that you are listening and that you care about the other person as you practice active listening. It also indicates that you have confidence.
During all the research that you did within the research stage, you might have some companies that were not answered on the website, or you might want some insight on something. Maybe the representative says something that triggers a question. Whatever the case may be asking questions help you gain a connection with the company representative at the networking event. When you are coming up with your questions to ask, make sure the answer can not be found on the company’s website. When you ask a question that you could have found yourself through a little research, it shows that you are not willing to put in the extra work. Leaving a negative impression on the minds of the company’s representatives,
At the networking event, there is a lot of company representative that you may want to meet. Depending on how many people you meet at the event, it can be challenging to keep track of everything said by each company. One way to resolve this potential problem is to take notes after you are away from the table. It will help you have something to talk to the representative and them remembering you when you do a follow up with the company’s representative. A great way to take notes is to get a business card from the person that you were talking to at each table at the networking event. Then jot down a few notes to remember what you talked about with each representative from each table.
Email and LinkedIn have made it easier to connect with professionals. Follow-up with the company representative from the networking event with a quick message in an email or after you connect with them through LinkedIn. Timing is everything. You want to send the thank you note within a day or two to ensure that the representative has not forgotten about you.
You have what it takes to make a good impression with your potential future employer and go and show them that you are the right candidate for their company. Let the networking event be your opportunity for a great position.