The stats are hard to ignore - up to 80% of today's jobs are landed through networking. Networking is key in a job search and throughout your career, and networking events are a great way to build your connections. Here's how to successfully prepare for a networking event:
Before the event
2. Appropriate attire. Check the invitation for a stated dress code. If it's not stated, err on the side of going business dress. Make sure your clothes are comfortable, since the last thing you want to be doing during a conversation is fiddling with your clothes.
3. Short elevator pitch. "What do you do?" can sometimes put you in an awkward position if you're not prepared, especially if you're unemployed.
1. Move around the room. You're there to network to try to (politely and gracefully) meet as many people as you can.
2. Listen. Yes, you may be eager to talk all about yourself, but you don't want to come across as a desperate job seeker. Instead, listen to what your new connection is saying. Ask questions. Engage in conversation.
3. Part ways gracefully. If you want to further your conversation, exit with, "I enjoyed our conversation and would love to learn more about your work. May I have your contact information to plan a time to talk?