In an increasingly competitive workforce, we need all the help we can get to find jobs in our respective fields. More than 70 percent of people today find their jobs through networking, so it’s a skill we should all take the time to develop. However, networking is not always as easy as it seems.
Using these three tips can help you up your networking game and make the connections that you need to land the job of your dreams.
Memorize an Elevator Speech
An elevator speech is a quick, 30-second speech that tells someone everything they need to know about you. It contains details like your name, your profession, major or skillset that you possess, and your ultimate professional goal. This speech should give another person a glimpse into who you are as both a person and a professional. It’s an opportunity to let your passion shine through.
For example, your speech can go something like this:
My name is Jane Smith and I’m a social worker with a specialization in working with members of the LGBT community. Someday I’d like to own a private practice where I can dedicate my time to helping people become who they are truly meant to be.
You can end your speech with a request for a business card or contact information.
Keeping these few sentences in the back of your head at conferences, internships, and interviews will make you seem more confident and professional and the quality of your speech will also make you more memorable to potential employers.
Keep Professional Business Cards
Professional business cards are another small way to set yourself apart from other people. When attending a conference or professional event, it is a good way to give people several ways of contacting you.
You can buy affordable business cards online that just list your basic information–name, profession, professional email, phone number, and LinkedIn profile. You can even have your picture on the card to help people better identify your name with your face.
Send Handwritten Thank You Cards
After an interview, internship, or job shadowing experience, make sure you send a handwritten thank you card to the person with whom you met. It gives you an opportunity to express your gratitude for the opportunity that this other person has given you. It’s also a chance for you to reiterate your contact information and let them know that you look forward to further contact.
At the same time, a handwritten note gives a personalized touch that an email cannot.
Networking can be intimidating, especially to people new to the professional world, but using these tips can help transform a recent college graduate into a competent networker in no time.