The Beginner’s Guide to Networking

The Beginner’s Guide to Networking
Three People Networking and Shaking Hands

In today’s digital world, face-to-face networking is becoming a lost art. Increased use of social media and email doesn’t excuse you from knowing how to properly network with another professional. It’s easy to grow professional relationships when you interact face to face, even if that seems intimidating. If you’re unsure of how to start, here’s a beginner’s guide to networking.

Start by Knowing How to Introduce Yourself

This is your very first impression! People focus on the elevator pitch for a reason. You need to be able to quickly and succinctly tell someone who you are and what you do in an effective manner that doesn’t seem overly rehearsed or self-absorbed. Stating your name and professional goals should be easy.

Before you attend a networking event or schedule coffee, make sure you know your goals Avoid stumbling through a first meeting. You don’t need to have all the answers, but you need to express your career plans well to make a strong impression.

Don’t Become a Salesperson

Even among a group of professionals, people still want to connect with people they like, not people trying to sell. Being yourself is crucial. Smile, let your personality shine, and you’ll see how quickly you’re given the opportunity to state your case.

Listen to those around you

Whether you’re joining a conversation midway through or connecting with someone for the first time, show you’re engaged. Actively listen and form insightful questions rather than immediately offering your own opinion.

Always Be Prepared

Show up to a networking event with a goal – even if it’s just to make a friend or one valuable professional connection. Be sure and research the guest list to determine who you want to talk with and the questions you have for them.

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