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Networking 101: Tips for Attending Networking Events

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

Before the event, consider these steps:

  • RSVP if required.

  • If provided, review the registration list so that you know which employers you want to meet.

  • Brush up on your elevator pitch (30-second commercial).

  • Pick out a professional outfit to wear so that you can make a positive first impression.

  • Update your LinkedIn profile and make sure it is complete and professional.

  • Clarify your goals for the event and develop a strategy.

  • Reaffirm the date, time and location of the event; know how to get there.

What to bring to a networking event:

  • Business cards and a pen.

  • Mints: Not necessary, but a nice thing to have, since you will be talking with other people.

  • Resume: Bring copies of your resume if the event is geared toward hiring or required for attendance.

  • Friend/Classmate (optional): Sometimes it can be a little less intimidating to go into a room full of people you don’t know when you have someone familiar with you; this is fine as long as you talk with others, not just each other.

At the networking event

  • Write your first and last name on your name tag. Place on the right side of your chest.

  • Find the host organizer, introduce yourself and offer a brief thank you for the opportunity to attend.

  • Be prepared to introduce yourself to others and use your elevator pitch.

  • If you’re joining a group conversation, wait for an opportunity to add a comment or question.

  • Listen actively when you are in a conversation. Ask questions.

  • Collect business cards and make note of the conversation for later follow-up.

  • Do NOT drink alcohol if available.

Reflection after the event

  • Take stock of the business cards you collected. If you haven’t had a chance to take a few quick notes about your interactions, do so.

  • Within the next few days, follow up with your connections by email or LinkedIn to connect and/or continue your conversations.

  • Figure out what you need to do next to achieve your career goals, and find your next networking event!

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