Adapted from 2017 National Conference Presentation by Julie Jansen
There are a couple of environments that lend themselves to professional networking: large meetings and — particularly these days — online. Below we list useful tips for handling both.
- Save all the business cards you receive, and jot down on each card a trigger that will help you remember who’s who. For example, “Wore red shirt. Had conversation about Thailand.”
- Master your communication skills, especially listening and explaining.
- Use humor. The safest kind of humor is self-effacing but not self-deprecating.
- If you are in a situation where you are wearing a name tag, always wear it on your right side. People will shake your right hand, so if your name tag is placed on the right side of your body, it will be in their line of vision.
- Move away from thinking about yourself and others in terms of a title. By extension, instead of saying what your job title is, try explaining what you do.
- Remember that you won’t have chemistry with everyone and they won’t always have chemistry with you. This is okay!
- More often than not, it’s possible to find at least one thing you have in common with someone else.
- Don’t sit next to someone you already know at a meeting, even if you haven’t seen him or her in a long time.
- Be aware of your body language, facial expressions and overall presence.
- Connect with people on LinkedIn; your primary network is made up of your 1st degree connections.
- LinkedIn is just one tool to expand your network and refresh your memory about who they are.
- When you meet someone in person, send them a personalized invitation to connect on LinkedIn instead of the default invite.
- Offer to introduce people to your LinkedIn connections.
For tips on creating an effective LinkedIn profile, watch the recording of our webinar on this topic, here: www.cancerandcareers.org/en/community/videos/bwc/linkedin.
Remember, networking is an ongoing, interactive process, so these are not the only places you can network. You can even do so by simply eating pizza with others!