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Summer is finally here and your weekends will be spent at the water, cooking out, or enjoying time with friends. But when you’re looking for a job, these social engagements can feel frustrating and stressful since you don’t know what you’ll be doing with yourself come Monday morning. But what if you can use the summertime fun to your advantage? Networking is a top priority for job seekers, so here are some ways you can engage your community this summer and find your next job.

Don’t focus too much on networking.

What? Why would someone advise you not to network in a networking article? Well, it isn’t reverse psychology. What we mean is that you shouldn’t focus on the networking so much, rather let the connections happen organically. Talk to people in public. Mention that you’re looking for work. You never know where you can find your next connection. There is a difference between saying “I am looking for a job” than “Can you help me find a job?”

Recognize networking settings.

What is important to know is where networking should be taking place. When you attend industry events, understand that networking is the primary goal. Prepare for it. Bring cards and dress professionally. Talk to people about what they do to better determine if they are a good long-term connection.

Encourage others to share their stories.

When you are talking to someone, don’t make it all about you. People love to talk about themselves, so encourage them to do that by asking them to tell you their story. Ask questions that prompt them to tell you about themselves so you can gain insight on who they are and what they can do for you in the future.

Prepare to talk about anything.

When you’re out in public, it is good to have some idea of topics you can talk about that will be non-controversial and help facilitate discussion and connection. This could be as innocuous as the weather or more in depth such as current affairs. But adhere to the age-old advice – not to talk politics or religion.

Network at family picnics and parties.

Of course, don’t forget natural networking opportunities that are happening all around you this summer. Are you going to a family reunion or a graduation party? Talk to the relatives that you don’t see very often to learn more about what they’re doing professionally and find out if they have any thoughts, advice, or leads for your career.

NRI uses our unmatched range of industry experience and connections to deliver the highest quality, diversified recruiting solutions for clients in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Contact our great team of recruiters today to get started!

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