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!