We have always told our prospective and existing clients that resume isn't the only job search tool. This is something we used to talk about in our blog articles. If you have been looking for a job for a while you probably know that having a decent resume isn't enough to get the job you want. Well, it might be enough for some but in most cases today you need to demonstrate more than that. At Prime-resume we wrote about other additional tools that could help you succeed in your job search - a cover letter, thank you note, interview tips, list of employment agencies, etc. However, there is one that stands out today. It is networking. You can hardly find anything that is more important than networking.
Practical Tips for Effective Networking
Before attending any kind of networking events you need to work on preparations for meeting people who could help you with the job. You can start by thinking about a self-introduction. Have you ever met people whose introduction became a turnoff? Make sure you don't follow their path. Develop an engaging self-introduction so that people you will talk would remember you. Don't tell them about all of your qualifications or accomplishments. Prepare a sentence or two that wouldn't take over 10 seconds to pronounce. Don't use official job titles as it will probably won't sound very attractive. Describe what you do in one or two sentences (i.e. I help different companies to find talented industry specialists).
Once you are there have fun and be nice to people. Don't try to find people who have higher job titles in order to get to them first. Be yourself and talk to people who surround you without looking at what they wear and who they are. Remember that most of the participants will also feel shy so you can find several people lonely standing in the corners and talk to them. Be natural. Don't try to show off or try to be someone else. Being yourself is the best thing you can do since you are basically marketing yourself and not someone else. Just relax and smile, don't try to impress everybody with your skills or a sense of humor.
Lastly, don't think of the event as your only chance to get a job. Networking isn't just about introducing yourself to employers in order to get a job. It is usually more complicated than most people expect. It is more about building relationships with those people who might help you in the future. For some reason, job seekers expect immediate results and they get really upset if a networking event didn't result in the job next week. However one would need the patience to get this to a successful end. There is no 100% success formula for this. You just need to see how it is going.