How to network successfully at career events
Networking is more than helpful - it is essential to a successful career. This is even more true in a sector like Swiss international cooperation, where people know each other.
Traditionally, career events allow you to network with many stakeholders.
For example, Forum cinfo - our event dedicated to the work and careers in international cooperation - opens the doors to networking with other participants (peers, professionals, etc.) and with organisations' representatives at the career fair (recruiters, programme managers, etc.).
So how can you make your event networking a success? Follow our tips!
Know what you want to achieve
Do you want specific information that cannot be found elsewhere? Would you like to network with other visitors to the event? Do you want to meet representatives of organisations? Don't just network for the sake of networking, have a concrete goal and stick to it.
Identify who you want to talk to
Who do you need to talk to to achieve your goals? You cannot talk to everyone - who are the most important people to you? What will you ask them?
Make a plan
A one-day event with a full agenda and many exciting discussions goes by quickly. You can manage your time more efficiently if you clearly identify your objectives and interlocutors.
Don't interview; network!
Ask relevant questions and try to establish a connection with your interviewer.
Listen! To keep a conversation going, you need to pay attention to what the other person is saying - remember that many people like to hear themselves talk.
First impressions count!
Be prepared: do your research at home - don't ask people questions you might have looked up online.
You are what you wear - dress appropriately for the occasion.
Pay attention to your body language: stand confidently, and maintain eye contact.
Be authentic and try to make a personal connection.
There are hundreds of visitors - find subtle ways to stand out from the crowd, and people will remember you.
Follow organisations and people on social media, and connect on LinkedIn with people you have met - this will keep you informed. Some organisations even advertise jobs through these channels.
Exchange email addresses and get in touch. Don't wait too long - you want to ensure the other person still remembers you.