Networking events can often seem daunting. But don’t let this keep you from attending. These events offer great insight into people, careers, and companies. Below are five reasons for why you should attend networking events. Ask these questions and you’ll boost your job search dramatically.
BUILD YOUR NETWORK
First and foremost, going to networking events means you are going to meet more people. Building out a strong web of connections means you have more chances to meet someone who can help your career. Knowing someone who works at a company can give you an advantage in the interview process. You’ll also be building out your personal network as well. The more people who are interested in your background means the more people who will think of you when a new opportunity arises. Take advantage of the more informal nature of networking events to build genuine rapport. You never know who can help your career progression.
MEET THE C-SUITE
Not only are you going to build out your network, but you also get to meet high-level executives before any interview rounds. Having access to higher-level management can offer great insight into what a company is looking for in an employee. You can learn first hand what is most important in a potential hire. You can also understand more about an organization’s product and where it is heading from c-suite executives. Take advantage of the introduction to learn as much as you can about the company and its employees.
SEE CULTURE FIRSTHAND
Many networking events are held directly in a company’s office. Attending a mixer lets you see an organization’s culture firsthand. Look at the way the desks are set up, how the management interacts with other employees, and the uniqueness of the office in general. If you find yourself comfortable in the space, you should definitely consider applying for a position. Alternatively, if the space itself makes you uncomfortable, it may be a sign that the company isn’t a fit.
GET GOOD PRACTICE
Networking events should be viewed as practice interviews. Come prepared with questions and be ready to answer. Learning how to sell yourself can be challenging. The more practice you get when talking about your own experience means the more dynamic the story will be. Practicing different ways to talk about your personal and professional background can make real interviews more natural and conversation. The best way to not sound rehearsed when talking to a hiring manager is to be comfortable with the story you are telling.
LEARN WHAT’S NEW
Lastly, the more networking events you attend, the more tips you can learn from other successful professionals. Gathering business cards, resumes, LinkedIn handles, and the like continually offer you more insight into the business world. You may find that certain professions require different types of resume formats, or prefer to not receive cover letters. This type of knowledge isn’t broadcasted on a company’s website. Discovering a new tactic or technique for the job search can be the difference between getting a job and finding a dream career.