Networking is all about creating precedent for you to reach out again to recruiters or potential employers.
If you have not yet read Part 1: Pre-Networking, please do so before reading this!
Part 2: During Networking
1) Make sure you’re mentally ready!
The actual networking will involve a lot of conversation and interaction, so make sure you put on your best persona! Good ways to make yourself more presentable are to wear nice casual to formal clothing, to have a confident posture, and to always have a smile. Having a smile on your face actually helps alleviate feelings of nervousness/anxiety through facial feedback!
2) Let’s get started!
To get the ball rolling with a recruiter, start off with your elevator speech/pitch. This should include your name, year, major, job interest, relevant experience, and area of interest. This speech is relatively short (30-45 seconds long) so make sure you bring out the most important information. Also, keep in mind that they may ask you questions based on what you say, so don’t stretch the truth too much! (See Part 1 of Networking for more details)
3) The Three C’s of Networking
Charisma: Don’t be boring. Being bland and dull only ensures that the recruiter will forget about you once you leave – you want to appeal to the recruiter to make yourself more memorable. Acting enthusiastic also displays that you have great interest in the field, and the recruiters are more likely contact you back.
Contact Information: Make sure both sides have a way to contact each other! Always include your information on your resume and make sure you get your recruiter’s business cards so that the chances of re-communication are higher after the initial conversation.
Conversation restarted: You want to make sure that the discussion can be continued after the career fair. It can be either personal or professional, so make sure that the questions you ask and the topics discussed are relevant and memorable for both you and the recruiter. This section will be covered in greater detail in the third part, so make sure you come back for the rest!
4) Last but not least,
Always shake the recruiter’s hand after the discussion. It’s a respectful gesture, and it shows that you had an enjoyable time. Make sure that you give a firm handshake, as it also displays confidence.
Networking may seem difficult and you may not always get desired results, but just know that this is all normal. No one succeeds every time, and the only way to get better is to practice. So go out there and be confident in yourself! Confidence is key!