Happy first day of spring also known as the season of job and internship searching! When I first moved to Washington, DC, so many people told me that the key to getting a job here depends on who you know. Fast forward four years, I now understand the importance of networking from meeting people at receptions, job fairs, my church, and many more events. I've learned so much about my field, career advancement and companies I'd want to join. I've learned almost all I know from my university's career center, but speaking from experience, there's so many tricks I wish someone had told me when I started. Check out my six secrets to successful networking:
Photography by Samuel Zeller
My Networking Prep Checklist
- Find out who's attending and research their background on LinkedIn
- Print and bring updated business cards with your LinkedIn profile name and/or online portfolio
- Prepare and practice your elevator speech and questions
- As soon as someone is free, walk right up to them and introduce yourself
- If things get awkward, comment on the food.
- Follow up within 24 hours via email or LinkedIn
At first, networking can be really scary, but over time, the connections made can be incredible sources of advice and ways to find new opportunities. Well equipped with these tools in your hand, you will have networking success!
What are your networking success stories? Share in the comments below!