Phenomenal grades, exemplary school involvement, and outstanding recommendations can stand for little if they cannot be communicated effectively. Networking is one of the most important business skills you will learn as a student, but also one of the scariest to partake in. This is especially true during recruiting season, which can be a stressful time for most. This blog will provide you 4 tips on how to become a great networker and land yourself that interview.
Although networking is the art of holding meaningful conversations and thinking on your feet, it is important to go into any networking event prepared. Preparation involves everything from reading up on the company before the event, to shining your shoes and mastering the perfect handshake. If you prepare, you will feel more confident and this confidence will shine through and impress any recruiter.
2) Glowing conversations
Although it is true that a recruiter will be impressed with a student who has taken the time to research not only the company, but the industry, in order to build a relationship it is important to familiarize yourself with current events, and other interesting topics that will keep a conversation flowing.
Any recruiter can easily identify your academic achievements and extra-curricular involvement on your resume; however your personality and fit with the organization can only be determined through a conversation. Your ability to fit in with the company is a deciding factor for any recruiter. Let your resume speak for your qualifications and let your networking speak for your glowing personality.
3) Be Remembered
There are many students in attendance at any given networking event, so it is easy for a recruiter to forget the names or faces of the people they meet. However, you can combat this issue by ensuring you are memorable. Ensuring you are remembered can be as simple as asking intriguing questions, being the first to approach, or developing a connection through a similarity with the recruiter (this can be something easy like being an Ottawa Senators fan). Never be afraid to ask for a business card and offer up your own; despite common belief, recruiters actually do keep students’ business cards for future reference!
The most important part of networking doesn’t occur at the networking event, but how you nurture the relationship afterwards. Remember that you are developing a relationship with the recruiter, and a relationship cannot be built through just one encounter. Therefore, it is important for you to follow-up through an email to simply thank the recruiter for meeting with you. If regular contact is kept with the recruiter, when the day comes, your interview may be a conversation with a friend, not a test for employment.