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Have a Business Card Ready

Have a business card ready even if you don’t have a job yet. It should have your basic information and contact details.

Develop an Introduction (Elevator Pitch) Personal/Professional Branding Statement

This is just a little about yourself you can use as an introduction when meeting people.

It should be delivered in less than 5 minutes. Make your introduction professional but also include something personal that might catch the attention of the other person.

Shake Hands Firmly

A firm handshake with direct eye contact indicates you mean business; you’re a genuine person and you treat everyone you meet as important.

Dress Appropriately

Business attire works well for all networking events.

Do not wear jeans and a t-shirt to a networking event. You will look out of place. Wear solid colors always and stay away from anything flashy or bright.

Don’t Try to Meet Everybody in the Room

This is disingenuous and makes you come across like you’re on an assembly line. Take the time to talk to people and get to know them beyond exchanging business cards.

Of course, also don’t tie up people exclusively for an hour. They’re there to meet other people as well.

Let the process flow naturally.

Ask Genuine Questions and Have Genuine Conversations

Networking is about building connections and showing genuine interest in other people.

Ask genuine questions beyond their name and what they do. Parlay the conversation into other topics. Learn the art of conversation.

Always Follow Up

Ask to meet for a coffee to talk about the industry or something else related to your common interests. Or, just tell them that you enjoyed your conversation and you hope to meet up again soon.

Remember Networking is about building connections and showing genuine interest in other people.