Dos and Don’ts of a Networking Event

This blog post was written by Samantha our campus ambassador from Ferris State University. If you go to Ferris and want to blog for us, please comment here.

Being in New York City, there is always a chance that wherever the day may take you, you may meet somebody worth knowing. Networking events and opportunities are taking place not only in big cities, but also at your school, at your local bars and lounges, and even on an airplane or bus.

Here are some dos and don’ts for networking events that everyone should keep in mind:

Don’t bring your resume to pass out to others. It’s bulky and chances are (unless it’s a job fair), nobody cares to read it at that point in time.

Do have a business card with a link to your website/blog with access to your resume online. It’s much more convenient and easier for a person to carry around.

Don’t have a plain, boring card. If you can spend $60 on a new pair of shoes or a video game, you can invest in good business cards to market yourself more effectively.

Do have a business card that reflects who you are professionally and make it memorable. Add some color or images of yourself. If you have a personal logo, add that.

When it comes to drinking, don’t overdo it (obviously). Keep your cocktail intake to a minimum – you don’t want to be known as the guy who had too many Coronas or the girl who spilled her drink on an up-and-coming CEO.

Do offer to meet for happy hour or lunch to get to know that person more if you think it’s appropriate. And again, be sure you don’t get too tipsy or cross a line!

Don’t underdress for the occasion or venue. In my opinion, it’s always better to look more polished than to look too casual.

Do research beforehand to see what your should wear. If the website is unclear, just give them a call and ask about their dress code or recommended attire. When in doubt, business casual is best. Dress pants or skirt, nice shirt or blouse, and nice shoes will get the job done.

Don’t spend the entire evening chatting with the same person. Sure, they may be great and all but you should see who else is there. Just be polite with closing your conversation and be sure to shake their hand before moving on.

Don’t skip talking to others because of boredom or a bad attitude. Every person in that room is worth a second of your time. If the event is boring, you can make it better simply by meeting new people.

Do try to spend a good amount of time with every one you can. You never know what connections you may make!