Building your professional network can be a challenging endeavor. Most high schools and colleges fail to teach students how to develop networking skills. Even after you get a job, it’s important to continue marketing yourself and building your professional connections.
Here are the most important do’s and don’ts of professional networking.
- Begin networking early, and build connections, even if you are happy with your current position.
- Treat everybody with respect and importance, because they may have connections that exceed their job title.
- Be polite, and conduct yourself professionally. Use proper grammar, and avoid using profane language or slang words.
- Ask questions, and learn about other industries. It will make you more rounded and informed.
- Don’t be selfish. Offer assistance to others. Asking how you can help someone will ensure they remember you.
- Update yourself on major current events, so you don’t appear uninformed.
- Follow through on your promises, even if it seems unimportant. If you tell someone you will contact them, do so.
- Use LinkedIn and other online networking sites. Add people to your network you know, and don’t be afraid to send invitations to people you just met.
- Meet multiple people, and try to talk to at least three people at an event.
- Be prepared to answer questions about yourself, like your educational background. Vague answers will be frowned upon.
- If an event is serving alcohol, drink responsibly. Having a drink is acceptable, but getting intoxicated isn’t.
- Avoid acting shy or timid. You need to take advantage of meeting new people, and caving to introverted behavior will not be beneficial.
- Keep personal information that will appear unprofessional to yourself!
- Only hand out business cards if asked.
- Don’t send unsolicited proposals or resumes to people you just met.
Looking to build your network?
It is never too early to start building a professional network. When attending networking events, make sure to conduct yourself in a professional manner, and come prepared. If you need help with networking, or advice on how to build connections in the professional world, the experts at Sage Staffing can help you navigate the world of professional networking. Contact us, today!