Don't miss Hustle Summit on Friday, July 21st in NYC and on Thursday, September 27th in Chicago: hustlesummit.co.
For a large networking event like Hustle Summit, it's a good idea to do your research on the featured companies ahead of time. While it's usually best to focus on three or four specific employers to research in-depth, it's also a good idea to have basic knowledge of all the attending companies that might have a related position. You never know if something opened up that morning that matches your skill-set and experience.
Make Sure You Stand Out
What makes you different than the 500+ attendees that signed up to an event? There might be more than 100 peers interested in the same company or position as you, so make sure you stand out from the crowd.
It's a good idea to tackle this from multiple angles. Appearance-wise, try to work on a unique, but polished, professional look. Ask a fashion expert at your favorite store to put together an outfit for you, and get it tailored.
Also, make sure you have a captivating and personable way of communicating. If you think your interpersonal skills might not be up to par, record a video of yourself talking in a professional manner and see if there are any ways you can improve your presence. Craft a clean and succinct resume, and bring a portfolio with a design that sets you apart (color helps), and make sure your website is up to date. Most importantly, present your pitch in a powerful way and show recruiters how you can be one of their most valuable assets.
Talk to Your Peers
In our tech-oriented world, strong IRL social skills are starting to become a rarer commodity. Many people are at least slightly uncomfortable talking to strangers. Go out of your way to start conversations with new people and you'll be glad you did. Besides gathering potential career connections, you'll also benefit from learning about someone's unique life experiences, challenges and accomplishments. One conversation could potentially change your whole trajectory, or make you consider something you wouldn't have otherwise thought of.
Be open to helping others with their career, even if you don't know them well. Networking usually works best when viewed holistically; you want to find leads and opportunities to advance your own career, but you also want to help others in their career journey. An easy way to do this is to ask a peer to keep a look out for any opportunities in your field, and you'll look out for them as well. Of course, this works best if you aren't both chasing the same kind of job. ;)
You can also help out peers and mentors by retweeting them on Twitter, or sharing their project or business on Facebook and giving a shout out. It not only makes them happy, but also helps them remember you and value your connection.
Take Advantage of the App
Digital networking can be just as effective as in-person. At events like Hustle Summit, use the event app to follow up with people you talked to, or start conversations with peers or mentors you didn't get a chance to meet. Take a few minutes to scroll through the attendee list and see if you have things in common with your peers. Even if you didn't meet in person this time, you might see them at a future FindSpark event. In a large and interconnected community like ours, a connection could develop over many months and after multiple events.
What’s your favorite networking tip? How else do you prepare for networking events? Share in the comments!
Don't miss Hustle Summit on Thursday June 27th at Irving plaza in New York City: hustlesummit.co.