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In today’s market job seekers can’t afford to ignore the art of networking. Even in our digitally dominated communications culture networking events can pay solid, tangible dividends. Face to face meetings, trading business cards, and shaking hands can put you in front of some of the top employers in your area. Here are some tips and tricks for optimizing networking events while you’re looking for your next career opportunity.

  1. Partner up. Networking events can seem intimidating when you enter a room full of people who are already separating into pockets of conversation. However, inviting everyone you know can be counterproductive since you’ll probably just stick together and not meet anyone else. A good compromise is to invite just one friend or colleague who will have your back at the event.
  2. Set networking goals. Is there one particular person you want to meet? Is there a business you want to know more about? Maybe you want to establish a goal to speak with at least 10 different professionals and trade business cards. Set goals to keep you on track and avoid wallflower syndrome.
  3. What can you offer? One of the most important things to keep in mind is to make sure that you have a service mindset when you’re meeting new contacts. People quickly lose interest when someone is only invested in themselves. Be sure to share with your new contacts what you can offer them and how you can make their lives and jobs easier.
  4. Follow up. Face to face networking is not effective if you don’t follow up with your new contacts. Be sure to gather cards while you’re engaging with other professionals. Then, after the event, spend some time sending out emails to everyone you’ve met along the way. Remind them who you are and where you met them. Offer them assistance and encourage them to follow back up with you.

Do you want to incorporate more networking into your job search? Contact NRI Staffing, offering jobs in Rockville MD and beyond, to learn more!

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