Welcome to the world of networking!
We know that networking can be overwhelming, especially if you've never experienced this type of environment before. Networking events are designed to help you meet potential employers and establish business connections. We have collected tips and useful information about things you need to know to succeed at any networking event. See details below.
Business casual dress is a style of clothing that is less formal than traditional business wear, but is still intended to give a professional and businesslike impression. However, what’s considered to be business casual can change depending on company, culture, climate and environment.
Our tips to dress for success:
Know as much as you can about the event you are attending. If a company you are interested in is represented by a specific color, wear something of that color. This way you’ll stand out from other attendees.
Play it safe. If you are not sure about what to wear, solid colors like black, grey, blue, and beige are always a great choice.
Throw on a jacket or blazer. They are always great options to dress up most outfits. Wearing one will instantly make you look more professional.
Make it comfortable. We know you want to make a good impression, but it’s not a good idea to wear a tight dress or tie.
Keep it simple. No loud patterns our excessive accessories please. Make sure your personality and skills are the ones people remember you for.
Let your personality shine through! If there’s something that represents you, find a way to include it in your outfit. This can become the perfect ice breaker!
Networking equals relationship building. Establishing relationships is something that we all do, extroverts and introverts alike. Whether you are one or the other, we all have advantages that can help us network successfully. For tips, check out the articles below.
An Introvert’s Guide to Networking
Networking is all about marketing yourself the best possible way. A business card is one of the most powerful marketing tools for an individual, especially when trying to connect with people in a timely fashion. It has all the necessary information a person needs to contact and know more about you.
A business card should include:
- Full name
- Position or occupation
- Company logo and website (if applicable) / e-portfolio URL
- Phone number
- LinkedIn URL
Where can I get one?
The Langara bookstore is available to process business cards for students. Please, drop by and request yours. Be sure to bring it with you to the Networking Essentials event on November 28th. Processing time is 5 business days and fees may apply.
An elevator pitch is a summary of your background and experience. The reason why it's called an elevator pitch or speech is because you should be able to present it during a brief elevator ride. An elevator pitch, done right, allows you to make connections, mentors, and interest possible employers, making it the perfect tool for networking events.
Your elevator pitch should include:
Who you are plus a credential. This could be a major or degree. If this doesn't apply to you, mention the industry or career you are preparing or studying for.
Your specific goal or career interest. By communicating your interest, that person is able to help you or connect you with someone who can.
Mention things you are working on or have completed. This should relate to your field of interest. Courses, workshops, internships and volunteering are all great choices.
List your work experience. Make sure to mention your strengths, accomplishments and skills, including leadership and people skills. Remember, it must be short so focus on relevant content.
Add a personal touch. Finish off by mentioning particular interests or talents. For example, if you are a member of a non-profit organization or know martial arts. You never know who might have similar hobbies and activities.
Remember to practice your elevator pitch as many times as you need. Stand in front of a mirror or ask a friend to listen and give you feedback. The more the better!
Being in a crowded social setting like networking events can be overwhelming. Many times we aren’t sure about how to act or what to say. Here are some things you should remember when attending one of these events:
Be yourself. Trying to portray something you are not could make people perceive you as fake, and lose their interest in establishing a conversation with you.
Shake hands. When introducing yourself make sure to give a firm but gentle handshake. A good handshake shows confidence and opens the path to establishing a relationship, especially in business.
Body language. Gestures are as important as words. Be mindful of personal space, eye contact and body movements. Culture can play a role in how people communicate with each other.
Keep your options open. If a company you are interested in working for is present at the event, great. But don't stick to one option. Reaching out to several people increases the amount of opportunities for business in the future.
Thank you emails. This is why you need to ask for heir business cards. After the event, make sure to email those you talked with. Be thankful of their time and show interest in staying in contact with them. You never know when an opportunity might come knocking.