Top 10 Networking Tips

1. Start off networking with your existing connections. Locate who you want to talk to. As a professional, or an aspiring professional, your time is important. Be discerning and selective.
2. Be confident to inspire confidence in you.
3. Have your elevator pitch prepared. An elevator pitch is a personal blurb that sums up the “professional you” and can be delivered quickly.
4. Learn the art of small talk. Having a great conversation often starts with a little bit of back-and-forth. It’s an opportunity for you to get a feel for the other person, and for them to get a feel for you.
5. Set yourself apart by thinking before you speak. In normal conversation, it’s common to build up a flow of conversation and to fear the dreaded awkward pause. But when you’re worried about constantly keeping up the flow of conversation, you often forget about listening to what the other person has to say and formulating an intelligent response.
6. Don’t be afraid to take a second or two to pause and think about what you’re going to say before you say it. This one or two seconds feels a lot longer to you. If something intelligent comes out of your mouth afterwards, that investment was worth it.
7. Find out who knows whom. When you’re talking to people, find out what they do for a living and for fun, as well as what their spouse or significant other, nearby family members, and close friends do for work and recreation, too. It may be helpful to make note of this in your address book so you don’t lose track of who does what.
8. If all goes well, ask for their business card and assure them you’d like to continue the conversation. Once you’ve had a pleasant chat, exchanged viewpoints, or commiserated over a horrible boss, don’t be afraid to say that you’ve enjoyed the conversation. Offer something like: “I’m glad we talked. You seem like a very knowledgeable and respected person. How about we continue the conversation soon?”
9. Tell your stories. One great way to brand yourself as a worthy hire during networking events is to tell stories. Pick three good stories from your life, personal or work-related, and share what you learned from the experiences, Roach said. A good story can illustrate multiple positive aspects about you as a person and as a potential employee.
10. Write thank-you notes. Within 24 hours of the event, write a thank-you note to each recruiter or manager you met. Be sure to reference any specific points or connections you made during your conversations with them so they remember who you are.