Here are the biggest takeaways from this infographic.
1) Make it Fun.
When you want to put yourself out there and network, you have to get creative and focus on fun. Organizing a happy hour can be a great way to meet others in an informal setting. You can invite those that you already have relationships with and those that you have yet to connect with on a business level. The environment will be laid back and a happy hour is a great ploy to bring people to you. When you want to network, you need a way to get all the important people in one room. Opting for a fun and laid back event is a great option.
2) Be Subtle.
It is never a good idea to lead with your resume or experience. You do not want to come off as overly aggressive or give the vibe that you are overcompensating. Networking should be subtle and it is more about listening and asking questions than really selling your title or expertise. Try to look for the perfect way to enter any conversation. You always want to try and connect through similarities. Your relationship should gradually move forward as you learn more. All you want to do is get your foot in the door and establish some small connection in the beginning.
3) Exchange Words Not Business Cards.
Leaving behind a business card only makes a difference if you also make an impression to go along with it. You need to start by having a real conversation before you go about just handing out your business card to everyone you see. If you feel that your conversation has opened the door and that a connection has been established, then you can give out your business card. However, this is only after a great first impression has been made.
4) Goes Both Ways.
When you are networking, the sole focus can’t just be on you and what you need. Networking needs to be a mutually beneficial experience. You can’t just expect favors without offering something valuable in return. The only way that you will be able to successfully network is if you understand that it is a two way street.
5) Leave a Lasting Impression.
You always want to stand out in some way. You need to separate yourself from the rest and be memorable. Becoming a great storyteller or developing a unique personality trait will pay off in the end.