Five tips for career development networking

Illustrative representation of Five tips for career development networking

Creating a network of professional contacts can be useful for finding future employment opportunities.

Below are five tips for successful networking.

1. Figure out what information you want, before you start networking

Career development networking is most use when you know what information you are looking for and how others might help you. Think about what questions will help you get the information you need before you start networking.

2.  Be yourself

If you are at an event or professional gathering where there is an opportunity to network, try to relax and seize the opportunity. Yes, networking with people you don’t know can be difficult (and sometimes awkward) but it can be very beneficial to your job search. Just smile and be yourself.

3.  Develop a ‘pitch’

Develop a 20 second ‘pitch’ describing who you are and what you do (or want to do). Try to make this pitch as interesting as possible to encourage further conversation. You can use your pitch as a conversation starter and to introduce yourself to others.

4. Be a good listener

Listen carefully and be open to any advice you receive. Focus on the conversation and the person speaking. Avoid interrupting or trying to redirect the conversation to your concerns. Show your interest in what’s being said. Nod occasionally, smile at the person, and make sure you maintain good posture and positive body language.

5. Vary your networking events

Attending different types of networking events will help you to connect with a range of people. Move around the room and consider having business cards made to give to anyone who asks for your contact details. Importantly, follow-up any referrals you have been given…if you say you will call, do it.

These tools can help you:

…Or you can browse Job Jumpstart for other ideas and suggestions of what to do next.