You gaze around bleary-eyed, slumped at your desk like a puppet whose strings have been cut.
While you have survived another year-end, you’re exhausted and the thought of attending the networking event this evening fills you with mounting horror. But you’ve committed yourself to going, so you decide to make the best of it. To ensure you have a positive experience, here are a few networking do’s and don’ts designed to help get you through the evening successfully.
Networking 101: Do Have an Elevator Pitch
Accountants today need to be strong communicators. In a networking scenario, an ability to succinctly describe what you do in 15 to 30 seconds can be the difference between connecting with someone, or watching their eyes glaze over. Who knows? The person you’re talking to may be the key to transitioning you into your next role. Here are some tips from our expert recruitment team on crafting the perfect elevator pitch to stand out from the crowd.
Don’t Forget to Listen
There’s a reason our mothers always reminded us that we have two ears and one mouth. By asking questions and engaging in active listening, our chances of building new connections increases substantially. The goal here is to establish rapport and keep the person interested. Listening actively helps make this happen. And, you’ll find that intentionally listening will make it easier to keep conversation flowing and enable you to learn more about who you’re connecting with.
While one positive meeting can be a powerful thing, following up with your new connection is even better. Use LinkedIn as a way to continue to build the relationship (you can also follow us for more tips and advice!). When you send your connection request, don’t just send a standard invitation. What you’ve learned during your networking session can be used to customize your invitation with references to your earlier conversation.
Revamp Your Online Presence
If you’re making new connections online, it’s highly recommended that you update your social profiles and maintain an active presence. If your goal is to elevate your career, you might consider updating your LinkedIn to reflect your latest achievements. As recruitment experts, we know that many accomplished company leaders are active on LinkedIn, and that recruiters use the tool daily to search for top talent.
Networking Faux Pas: Don’t Dismiss Anyone
It’s important to remember that every connection is a networking opportunity, even if the person seemingly has no obvious relevance to the accounting and finance industry. As accountants, remind yourself that the GTA is fundamentally a small place, and Rosie the florist, may have a niece who is a Director of Finance. So with that in mind, make every conversation count.
By practicing the 4 networking tips listed above, you stand a good chance of keeping yourself front of mind, so when the next opportunity appears, you’re the natural choice.