Networking 101 – Tips To Work A Room

So I have been attending various networking events around the tri-state area-events that specifically cater to senior IT executives.

I was a little apprehensive to attend functions like this because I really did not see the value for myself. Can a room full of other out-of-work IT executives provide any good leads? We are all looking for the same type of job. If anything, this is my competition. Why would anyone help the competition? But I digress….

People would come up to me and recite their resume – their elevator pitch. I have to be honest, I am not good with names and I am definitely not good remembering the intricacies of your last job. I am, however, good at remembering trivial details about a person. I think most people are good at that.

Here are a couple of points to consider when you are planning to attend a networking event:

  1. What are you trying to get out of the event? Is it knowledge transfer, critique of you resume, making contacts? Go in with a game plan.
  2. Don’t regurgitate your résumé to people. Honestly, the people I remembered the most were the ones that just talked about themselves, not the ones that spoke about managing a global ERP implementation. It makes it easier to remember you in a room full of other people that have also done ERP implementations. Know your audience.
  3. Be yourself. Not your last job.
  4. Be happy. You are in a room with other people out-of-work. It makes no sense to cry about your situation. Everyone is going through similar or worst ordeals in this economy.
  5. Carry some business cards. Go to Kinkos (or FedEx Office – whatever they are calling themselves these days) and make 100 business cards for $30 and put your information on it and hand them out to people as you talk to them. A business card still goes a long way. Have fun with it be a little creative. And do not forget to add your LinkedIn profile address and blog.

I would like to hear stories from you about the networking events you attend and any tips you may have.

Happy networking…

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One thought on “Networking 101 – Tips To Work A Room

  1. Great post. I liked your comment, “Be yourself.” I have a discussion group that I attend on a regular basis. I have noticed that even thought I don’t go there to “promote” myself, just by enjoying myself and being myself, people approach me and ask if I can help them with a business project.

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