The thought of face-to-face networking can make some people quake in their boots. Not everyone can walk into a room full or stranger with the confidence and ease.
However, with the right approach, networking can really help you with your professional and personal success.
Nick Bruschett, manager at Robert Walters offers some useful tips:
Be the host
Whatever the event might be, prepare yourself before you enter the room and act like you are the host of your own party. View the other attendees as your guests. This will help you to relax and think of others rather than your own situation.
First impressions count
Approach people with a smile, a firm handshake, make good eye contact and engage them in meaningful conversations to learn more about them. People will respond to you. After all, first impressions really do count.
Set goals for yourself
Set yourself some achievable goals. See how many new contacts you can meet before each networking event and over a period of a month. You'll be surprised how many new faces you do meet.
Take someone with you
Taking a confident friend or colleague from the same industry with you to networking events will not only help you feel at ease, but they can facilitate introductions.
Carry business cards
Business cards are a must at any event you attend. Always carry them with you, to give to new contacts. Make sure you are receiving a business card from each person you meet at that event, so that way you can follow up with an email or through LinkedIn.
Embrace Social Media
Networking is not just about face - to - face events. Today, a lot of networking between professionals takes place via social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Keep in mind that offline networking etiquette applies online as well.
Offer your assistance to others in your networking circles wherever possible or suggest someone else that you are connected with who might be able to help them.
The more network you do, the less daunting it will become. With a little practice it can be very enjoyable, and perhaps most importantly it can do wonders for your career.
For further tips and career sources visit our career advice page.