How To Get The Most Out Of Networking Groups

 

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While it’s unlikely that you’ll receive a job offer at a networking event, attending these events is an important part of the job-search process.

The truth is that people like to do business with people they know and like. This philosophy extends when it comes to filling open positions. It’s one of the reasons that companies have employee referral programs.

It’s also one of the reasons you should be attending networking events. But, going to your industry’s monthly dinner meeting isn’t enough, you have to be active and engaged.

Industry Events

If you’re looking for a new opportunity industry events are the best way to meet your peers. Attending industry conferences is a great way to meet people at various levels in different parts of the country.

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Why Business Cards Belong In Your Job-Search Toolbox

networking eventWhenever I speak to a group of job seekers the first question I ask is “How many of you have a resume?” Almost every hand goes up. Great. The second question is “How many of you have a business card?” Only a few hands go up. Not so great.

Unfortunately, many job seekers, don’t realize that when used correctly business cards can be an important marketing tool. When used incorrectly, not so much.

About a year ago, I attended a networking event sponsored by my local SHRM. Most of the attendees were in human resources. Not surprisingly, there were many job seekers there as well.  Smart move. There’s no better place to meet people working in HR than at an HR event.

When I arrived, I spent some time chatting with a recently laid-off woman who was looking for a position in HR. As we said goodbye, I asked her for her business card. She said since she was out of work she didn’t have a “business card” per se. She then proceeded to apologetically hand me a card for the small jewelry business she was running on the side. Obviously, it had nothing to do with her job-search objectives.

Big mistake.

If you’re unemployed, or even if you’re not, it’s a good idea to have business cards. Business cards are essential for networking events and job fairs. First, you need to provide a way for people to contact you. Second, you need to have a way for them to remember you. Finally, if you’re currently employed you need to give people a way to contact you outside of your office.

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