Today's post is written by Anna, wannabe|employee reader and publisher of one of my favorite career blogs: Classy Career Girl. Anna has great tips on networking and will be sharing a few with us today:
Did you know that you only have five seconds to make a first impression when you are introduced to someone? Here are my five tips to promote yourself and network so that the people you meet will never forget about you.
- Have a one-sentence introduction prepared and ready to go. Usually, when you first meet someone, you may not have time for a long pitch about what you do. But, you do have time for one sentence that says your name, what you do or what you would like to do. This will help the other person remember you and give them an idea of what you can help them with or what you are interested in.
- Networking is about how you can help others, not what others can do for you. If you think for a second that you should go to dinner with a certain person because they can introduce you to their contacts, you are doomed from the start. Think instead about what you can offer other people and what knowledge you can provide to them. When others see how valuable you are to know, they will immediately trust you enough to introduce you to their contacts.
- Look the part before you get it. Spend some extra time to make sure that you look professional and comfortable. Do you want to stand out by being the only person with jeans on in the room or the person that looks the best dressed?
- Don't leave home without your business card. Don't be the person who forgot to bring their business card with them. The people you meet will never remember you if you don't give them something to remember you by. Even if you don't have a job, you can make your own business cards. You can easily search online to find a great business card template and make your own. The card should say your name, phone number and email address and your current job or the job that you are looking for.
- Know what networking is and what networking is not. Networking is not about business cards, bothering people, emailing people and waiting for them to reply. Networking is about building a wide array of connections that can put a face with your name and resume. These connections are resources for providing guidance, support and employment opportunities for your future success.
Classy Career Girl provides advice to young professionals on how to be classy as they climb the corporate ladder. Her blog covers topics such as business chic fashion, career motivation, personal development, networking and office etiquette. Connect with her at http://www.classycareergirl.com/