Networking is very daunting to people who aren’t experienced or extroverted. Events like this put a lot of pressure on people, and that scares some away from networking at all. Networking is, however, really important for advancing your career, and a life skill that will help you going forward. Here are some great tips for your next networking event:
1. Dress the part
If you’re attending a networking dinner, make sure you’re aware of the dress code. Business casual is the standard, so stay away from short dresses or skirts, jeans or sneakers. Wear a nice shirt and pants and business shoes. If you’re going with a friend, run your outfit by them to see if they think it’s appropriate for the event. Dressing the part is important because it shows employers that you are professional and eager to enter the business world.
2. Be prepared
This is maybe the most important thing on this list! Be as prepared as you can for the event- Google the names of the guests attending and the companies they work for. This will allow you to narrow down who you want to talk to for the evening! If there is a person there that works for a company you’re interested in, research the company first so you can have some talking points with them. You should also bring business cards, resume copies and a pen and paper.
3. Know what you want
This goes along with being prepared, but know what you want to get out of the networking. Do you want an internship? A job? To learn more about the industry? Just new contacts? All are fine, but make sure you know what your goals are in the event before you start networking.
4. Remember, they were once in your shoes
This is true especially for Simmons alums! Networking can seem scary and daunting but the people you’re networking with all went through this too, and they want to help you succeed. Networking with Simmons alums is great because you can bond with them over classes and professors you’ve shared, and they know the kind of curriculum we are taught and how that matches to their company’s standards. Simmons people help Simmons people in the professional world and we should all be taking advantage of this!
5. Follow up
Another important aspect of networking is following up! Making contacts means nothing if you don’t keep in touch. This means connecting with them on LinkedIn and/or emailing them thanking them for talking with you.
Hopefully this takes some of the stress away from your next networking event! Remember- it’s the best way to get an internship or job!
Header image courtesy of The Boardroom Network.