Tips & Tricks: How to Network Effectively

Networking is a key activity for anyone who wants to accomplish something. Just look at the popularity of Meetup, the online social networking portal, and you will see how important connecting with others is in all areas of our lives. If you are looking to find a new doctor, expand your social circle, or like so many of us, get a new job – networking is for you! 

When you are conducting a job search, one thing you should do is attend events that will enlarge your circle of contacts and expose you to people who may work in your field or industry. Here are some valuable tips you can use when attending an event where you may not know anyone:

  • Pre-register if you can because it will provide early commitment and increase your chances of actually attending the event. Backing out is not an option!
  • Depending on what type of event it is, do your homework by brushing up on the latest and most relevant business trends, current news items, or sports news. This will help you join in conversations and potentially stay engaged a little longer.
  • Arrive early and check out the nametag table to see if you know anyone or spot anyone in particular you’d like to meet.
  • Plan your attire by reflecting on the image you want to convey. You want to look professional and put-together.
  • Volunteer at events whenever possible. It will help you engage and give structure to your interactions.
  • Go with someone you know but don’t hang on for dear life.
  • Approach someone who is standing alone and strike up a conversation about the event.

When we want people to regard us positively and like us, we can take the advice of Dale Carnegie who had some pearls of wisdom to offer: become genuinely interested in other people, be a good listener, encourage others to talk about themselves, and don’t forget to smile!