For some, networking can feel like walking a tightrope, with frayed nerves and awkward moments. Finding a balance between being outgoing enough to be memorable, but also putting others at ease, all while communicating how wonderful you are can feel a bit overwhelming. While networking maybe a painful experience for some, it's an important part of business for all — so it's important to make sure your networking skills don’t get too rusty.
Whether it’s your first or fifteenth networking event, everyone can use a little brush-up now and then. Here are our top tips for making sure you’re putting your most professional face forward!
When talking to a company representative, show what you know! If you know what companies you’ll be speaking with, research them ahead of time. Bring up statistics, compare them to other companies and point out why you like what they are doing and why they are successful. If you don’t know who you’ll be meeting ahead of time, read up on industry stats and trends.
Companies often don’t give you a lot of information immediately. Make sure to listen carefully, understand and ask questions where appropriate.
3. Be Professional
Always make eye contact and give firm handshakes. Use proper language, be respectful and dress in business casual attire.
4. The Four Cs
Be cool, calm, confident and consistent. Remember, you want a job in tech, so try to avoid talking about unrelated things and stay focused on things that are directly related to the potential job.
Be ready to show your work, as well as have a spare copy of your resume in hand. This is a great time to show off your killer project and talk about your development process.
Practicing with a friend can both help you overcome any networking nervousness, as well as provide an opportunity to learn about any unconscious distractions you should work to avoid.