With the fall semester comes dozens of opportunities to attend employer events and information sessions. Our employer partners are looking to share information about job postings and programs and meet students who will be available for future work – this is an invaluable opportunity to build a professional network while you’re still in school.
While events have been continuing to take place virtually over the past few years, this fall semester marks the return of many in-person events. You may even attend your first in-person networking event this semester.
Networking events can cause nerves and uncertainty, but Management Career Services is here to help you feel prepared and confident to make and build professional connections. Here are five tips to help you feel prepared to attend an in-person networking event.
If you know which organizations are hosting or attending the event, do some research ahead of time. What roles are they hiring for right now? What areas of the business are you interested in learning more about? Prepare some questions you can ask about what it’s like to work in the organization, their recruitment process, and what they look for in a candidate.
Dress to Impress
When attending a networking event, follow any dress code requirements or recommendations. When in doubt, dress as you would for a job interview. A clean, professional outfit shows that you are putting effort and thought into how you present yourself, which helps make a positive first impression.
Practice Your Introduction
Introducing yourself is the first step in creating a new connection at an event. Make your introduction concise but memorable. Know ahead of time how you will answer the question “tell me about yourself?” when getting to know a new industry contact. Think about your previous experience, where you are now, and where you want to be after graduation. Use body language that conveys confidence and openness.
Keep it Concise
No need to spend the entire event talking to one person. As you work the room, keep your conversations succinct and intentional. Get to know the person you’re speaking to without sharing your full life story. Making connections is about just that – it will be up to you to maintain the connection after the event.
Networking doesn’t end when the event is over. You’ve made the connections, now it’s time to build them. Connect on LinkedIn. Send a message to follow up and touch base. Request a coffee meeting to further keep in touch. Putting in this work will increase the chances of one of your connections keeping you in mind when they hear about a job opportunity that aligns with your interests, or directly connecting you to a recruiter at an organization.
For more networking advice, go to myCareer to book an appointment with your Career and Recruitment Specialist! And, visit the myCareer event calendar to view the wide range of employer information sessions and networking events, both in-person and virtual, happening this fall.