Attending events is a great way to expand your professional network. Leverage the opportunity with these networking tips.
- Research the guest speakers and the topic. This will allow you to ask intelligent and memorable questions during the presentation as well as one-on-one time with the speaker before or after the presentation.
- Know your 60-second pitch. Depending on the topic and audience, know what you will say if given the chance to introduce yourself to the group or to an individual. Generally, this will include:
Sit next to people you don't know yet. This will allow you to have one-on-one conversations with new people, even before the presentation.
Express interest in the new people you meet. During the conversation, get to know the person first. Don't just focus on what you need. Focus on the other person's goals and listen for ways you can help.
If you have one, bring a business card. You can have your resume handy in your bag, but give it only when asked.
If there is no dress code, wear a business casual attire: slacks or skirt with a dress shirt or sweater. Avoid jeans and T-shirt. You never know who you might meet.
Follow up with the people you meet within 1-3 business days. Remind them how you met and, if applicable, ask for a follow up conversation. If you had a long conversation (beyond basic introduction), send a LinkedIn request. Otherwise, follow up via email first. Connect via LinkedIn only after you had a deeper conversation.
- Your name and DePaul affiliation (year, major)
- Your skills or knowledge that can help others
- Your goal or area where others can help you
Want to learn more? Attend a Career Center workshop on networking. But remember, practice makes perfect. Network and learn along the way.