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Work the Room
By ResumeOttawa.ca Staff Writer
We talked about this before – about the need to network as part of the job search. In fact everyone talks about it – network, network, and network. From “What Color is Your Parachute” to your friendly Ottawa recruiter, networking is considered an absolute necessity in your job search.
Yes everyone talks about networking and very few tell you how to do it. No one tells the shy person how to get started and appear comfortable doing so. No one tells you how assertive to be. If you are shy it is best to start with an actual networking event where everyone there is there to network, as opposed to say a Chamber of Commerce event where many people would already know one another.
If you start with a networking event than you can tell your shy self that everyone else in the room is in the same boat. They came there to meet you and to build relationships. So make these types of events part of what you do on a regular basis and it will pay off. There are a few tips for working the room that will help you to get started.
- Be yourself: Don’t be a marketing machine and don’t be a walking commercial. Just be yourself and tell your own story. You will be surprised at how easy it is once you start talking. Just remember to stop talking and do a lot of listening. You will earn more points and more friends if you start out listening more than talking.
Watch the body language of the person you are talking to and determine if they are interested or want to move on. Do they want a chance to talk? Don’t dominate the conversations.
- Pay attention to the others and listen well. Your goal is to learn as much as you can about the other. Make a game of it for yourself if that works. See how many people you can know and recall 2 things about them. Be sure you are asking people to speak about themselves and then remembering what they say. How did they get to be a manager? What were there accomplishments? What motivates them? Learn about their dreams and challenges.
Pay attention to how they respond to what you tell them and try to pick up any cues that say they have heard enough, which is fine because networking is really about learning about the other person. It will then come back to you.
- Stay positive as no one wants to talk to a negative person. You are here to listen to make acquaintances, not to complain or vent. No one came here for that. Everyone came here to develop positive relationships not venting and complaining. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever talk negatively about a current or past employer.
It is not so hard if you remember that it is always about paying if forward and helping someone else out. If you do this then it will come back to you in spades. It will make working that room well worth your time.
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