The Right Attitude
Positive mindset, professional behavior and a simple smile. These are some of the most essential characteristics that demonstrate the right attitude for networking.
A positive attitude shows the motivation to network with strangers. It shows that you are mentally ready to work and are excited to network with professionals. It is coupled with professionalism, which shows the inclination to work effectively, responsibly and actively in a professional setting.
Professionalism shows how well you have gained the necessary mannerism to work in a business environment. It adds to your overall personality and demonstrates the soft skills essential to the firm or your employer that you are preparing to interview with.
The most important thing that should always be on your face – your smile. A smile demonstrates your confidence. Smiling in a place like a campus recruiting event where you are already intimidated with the numerous recruiters around you shows that you can keep yourself calm in any situation. A simple smile shows your level of stability and your stress management skills that are essential in a business environment.
When you are ready to meet new people, the first thing you do is introduce yourself. But it is not so easy to make the impression you want on that person in your first meeting. Therefore, to introduce yourself effectively in a matter of seconds, it is important to practice your elevator speech.
A good elevator speech is a short introduction of yourself with a sentence that tells the other person why they should care about having you as their contact. Along with your elevator speech, it is equally important to maintain firm eye contact with your networker. Eye contact conveys that you are interested in talking to the other person and would be glad to have them as your contact.
Good eye contact is supplemented with a firm posture. You should be completely facing the person you are talking to. Prevent slouching or looking away from that person as this would create a negative impact on your level of interest and the importance of your networking conversation.
Another thing you can do to prepare for networking is maintain a schedule of all your appointments and the timings at which the interview or networking event is set up. This will enable you to be at the site on time and demonstrate punctuality, a positive characteristic in a professional environment.
After the meeting is finished, be sure to shake hands and thank them for their time. It shows that you appreciate their presence and are looking forward for a reply soon. Leave a business card with them so that they will recognize you when they are hiring or have something you could benefit from.
In some cases, such as a company visit or a college networking event, leave your resume as well. Don’t just meet them once and lose track of them, keep in touch with them after the meeting. Greet them whenever you see them again, connect with them through online media, and even like or comment on their LinkedIn publications.
LinkedIn is another very important medium. It adds a professional, yet personal touch to the deepening of your networking. Don’t forget to keep your conversations professional. This strengthens their decision to connect with you.