Networking is a huge key to success as a young professional. You must know how to work a room to your advantage. Working a room means connecting with the people who call the shots. Networking is much more than passing out business cards.
Networking means showing up to engage in stimulating conversation and listening more than you speak. A professional that is excellent at networking will have less trouble finding a job. Below are a few quick tips on how to network.
Confidence is your best bet while networking. You might not know the topic of conversation or anyone in the room, but people will be drawn to your confidence. Confidence means making eye contact and speaking with authority in your voice. Confidence looks like asking questions, not saying "um" a lot, leaning into the conversation and smiling politely. The key to networking is letting your new-found friend talk about their self.
Bring Business Cards
Technology will lead you to believe that business cards are irrelevant, but they are not. Networking with business cards mark you as a "professional." Young professionals need business cards especially. We already have less experience due to age. No need to give other professionals or recruiters a reason not to take us seriously.
Strong Body Language
Strong body language looks like standing up straight, eye contact and firm handshakes. For example, if you're approaching a small group of women talking be sure to smile and introduce yourself when silence hits. If possible, wait for someone to ask you your name before jumping into their conversation. You don't want to across rude or forceful.
Now it's time for you to start networking like a pro. If you're in Kansas City join me for Brunchin' with Jasmine Diane on September 30. I've got less than 30 seats left and want to see your face. Brunch will provide you with ample opportunities to network with both male and female young professionals. Click here for more information.