Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve heard that your career is as good as your connections. Thatâ€™s right! Recruiting careers thrive on interested and interesting conversationalists.
Recruiters who talk easily and listen effectively tend to find contacts and speed down the fast-track sooner and more quickly. Weâ€™ve all been tongue-tied, at one time or another, but with planning and practice we can make every networking opportunity successful.
Here are some tips on how to sharpen your conversation skills and network like a pro:
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- Meet as many people as possible at business or holiday functions.
- Introduce yourself. Walk over to the person you want to meet, extend your hand, and tell them your name.
- Draw out this person by asking open-ended questions that canâ€™t be answered with a yes or no. Listen to what the other person is saying. Show them that you care.
- Keep a lot of small talk questions handy (i.e., work, the weather, sports, “Do you follow __team, player, etc.?”) Donâ€™t ever discuss politics or religion. Remember “schmoozing” is designed to advance your contact list, not your causes.
- Skip doing business while networking. Make a date to meet for a drink or lunch to create and maintain a common bond.
- Have the tools to network with you at all times.
- Write notes on the back of the business cards you collect. Record anything you think may be useful in remembering the person more clearly.
- Manage your time efficiently. Donâ€™t linger with friends or acquaintances.
- Follow up! Call them up. Make friends even when you donâ€™t need them. If you donâ€™t, youâ€™ve wasted your time.
To the accomplished “schmoozer,” the next big networking opportunity is just a meeting away. Good luck!