Expert tips from LinkedIn and Citi's Women & Co. will help you work a room with ease. To continue the discussion, visit Connect: Professional Women's Network, a free LinkedIn group powered by Citi, at http://www.linkedin.com/womenconnect.
1 These expert tips will help you work a room with ease. Networking Know-How BROUGHT TO YOU BY
Know your game. You have to find the type of networking event that is conducive to your style, says Beth Buelow, a speaker, author and coach. Happy hours are my worst nightmare, but small, structured events that take place before or after a speaker or workshopthose all work for me.
Do your research. Find out who will be at the event beforehand, and make it your goal to initiate conversations with at least three people you want to connect with. Be ready with questions and conversation topics that are relevant to the industry.
Dress the part. Even if this is a casual event, remember that youre a professional, and you want to be remembered that way. Its always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Be prepared. Bring twice as many business cards as you think youll need, plus a pen and paper to jot down notes during the event.
Be approachable. The more closed off you are, the less you gain personally and professionally. And the more willing you are to take risks and start discussions, the more you gain, says Stephanie Berenbaum, co-founder of Fabulous and Frugal. Read more from Citis Women & Co.
Listen up. Start by helping potential business contacts achieve their goals before yours connect them with your contacts, share your knowledge, or even contribute to a project. This selfless attitude will be rewarded when you need something in return. Read more from LinkedIn
Ask for help. If youre an introvert, touch base with people you know who are attending the event and ask them to introduce you to a few people, suggests LinkedIn member Helene Clark.
Tout your personal brand. A personal brand is the synthesis of a persons signature strengths, core values, reputation, image, and key differentiators, says Diana Baranello, President of Coaching for Distinction. Everyones brand is as unique as a fingerprintno two are alike. Read more from Citis Women & Co.
Know your goals. Where do you want to end up in your career? How do you want to make yourself more marketable for that goal job in the next year? How do you want to make yourself more marketable for that goal job in the next three years? Read more from Citis Women & Co.
Keep an open mind. Connections can come from unexpected places. Dont discount someone who doesnt have direct or immediate relevance for you if theyre an interesting and successful person, they can open doors to new opportunities down the road. Read more from LinkedIn
Know when to go. Not every connection you make is going to be a fruitful one. When you sense that youre stuck in a conversation thats going nowhere, politely extract yourself and move on to someone else.
Be strategic. Dont try to meet everyone in the room. As Nicki Gilmour, CEO of Evolved Employer says, Focus on the quality of your network, not just on the quantity of people in your network. Read more from Citis Women & Co.
Follow Up. Exchanging business cards is a great start, but its only the beginning. After the event, keep the relationship going by connecting on LinkedIn, sending a nice-to-meet-you email, and reaching out for a for a one-on-one meeting.
Additional Networking Resources Read more from LinkedIn 15 Small Business Tips to Becoming a Networking Pro Networking for Introverts Taking My Online Professional Network Offline 4 Ways to Stand Out on LinkedIn Top 10 Job Search Success Tips Read more from Citis Women & Co. Raise Your Visibility at Work: 5 Things You Can Do Right Now 5 Tips for Networking Nirvana Creating the Change You Want in Your Career What is a Personal Brand? 2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
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