A Guide to Networking
Networking night is fast approaching - but how exactly do you network? Whether it's your first or 10th time at a networking event, we thought it'd be helpful to provide a few tips about how to network so you can make the most of your time to build connections with our reps!
1. Be open!
As you arrive at the event to a sea of new faces, you might be overwhelmed and nervous. But don't forget - the whole purpose of networking events is to meet new people - it's not a gathering for old friends so don't be afraid to start conversations or join in on one! If you do know people there, try not to stick to people you know because that defeats the purpose of the event - step out of your comfort zone and strike up some new conversations.
2. Be friendly
Not every topic of conversation has to be strictly about business - treating the conversation as a business deal can be awkward and forgettable. The best ways to make a meaningful connection to have an enjoyable and natural conversation. Talking about common interests and experiences is a great way to build that relationship and smoothly transition into other topics.
3. Be Curious
If you find that your conversation has come to an awkward point and you're struggling to find things to say without being repetitive, ask questions! It's important to give the other person a chance to talk. For example, if you were talking about your past internship, you could ask them about their experiences with internships before they landed their current job.
4. Be engaged
When speaking to someone, make sure you are focused on them - make eye contact, and react to what they say. Try to avoid looking away/ around them too often. When listening to them talk, it's a good idea to nod or comment to show that you're still actively listening to what they have to say. You can also ask specific questions about what they say or share your related experiences.
5. Be yourself
You want people to remember you for who are, not someone you're pretending to be. Like the second point - be and don't pretend to be knowledgeable in topics you don't know about. Trying too hard to project certain qualities will feel forced and unnatural. People will remember you if you're genuine and honest.