While the importance of social networking is undeniable, statistics by Harvard Business School claim that from 65 to 85 percent of all jobs are gotten through face to face networking, or because someone knows someone else. US News gives some valuable tips to make contacts that might help you land a job.
Doing things online is all good and fine, but even in today's work the impact of a human relationship should not be underestimated. Networking events can be the answer to your job search prayers.
Networking can be done in professional organizations, interest groups, companies and colleges' open days. They run events that are clearly meant as opportunities for networking. You can find these ads in local newspapers or business journals, LinkedIn groups or Meetup.com.
If you are one of those people who get anxious and sweaty just by being around a crowd full of strangers, keep in mind that for people who are your network, you and somebody's network, too. Everyone at a networking event is there for the same reason as you: to make new work relationships and find out if someone can help them with their needs. Here are things to remember to make the most out of a networking event.
1. Don't go overboard.
Learn to be subtle, and talk less about yourself. Take care not to sound rehearsed or like a commercial of yourself. Be yourself, anything else will seem fake and not help, no matter how good of an actor you think you are.
2. Pay attention to others
Listening is one of the most important skills there are out there, both in personal and business relationships. If you come across as considerate, people will want to help you. Listening will make you learn things.
3. Be focused
Don't ramble on about unimportant things. Make sure you know what it is you want, and be brief. Don't lose people's attention because you seem undecided or unsure. Exchange information at the end of a conversation or when appropriate, and then follow up later.
4. Be positive.
Keep your problems to yourself. This is a business networking event, do not forget that. Besides, people are always attracted to positivity.
5. Manners, manners, manners.
Be polite. Don't let the talk be all about you. Be courteous, open doors, forgive. Don't be desperate. Don't lose your cool over people cutting lines. Be nice.