With moving on to the next chapter in your life come those lurking feelings regarding the inevitable future telling you to “Put yourself out there” and “Make meaningful connections.” Networking is one of the best ways to combat these feelings and set yourself up for success. However, we really don’t talk enough about how to prepare for or follow up after an event. Here are some tips for what to do before and after a networking event.
1. Have your resume and an elevator pitch ready. Proofread and practice this! My best tip for proofreading is to read aloud, whether to a friend or even yourself. It is easier to hear a mistake than read it.
2. Research who will be at the event and what they may be looking for. Think about why you are interested in the company and what qualities you can bring to the table.
3. Present the best version of yourself physically and mentally. First impressions really are as important as everyone makes them out to be, arrive wearing attire properly suited for the event (check for a dress code) and welcoming body language. Also, maintain a positive and clear mindset because when you are comfortable you are confident!
1. Look at the different business cards you may have received and update your notes with takeaways from each meeting as well as contact information as needed. Also consider things that drew you in, any good connections, and what they were looking for versus what you can offer.
2. Follow up; Adding individuals you met with on platforms like LinkedIn is a great first step to take to stay connected. Other steps can include emailing in a timely manner to show enthusiasm. Personalizing the message is a great way to show genuine interest and can make you more memorable. Also don’t forget to thank the individual for their time at the end of the message.
3. Finally, keep connecting! Networking is just a series of meeting new people and each connection helps - you never know who you might meet when you put yourself out there.