Job Search and Career Development – Top 10 Tips On How To Work A Crowd
Whether you are looking for work or looking for promotion at work, knowing how to work a crowd is invaluable. So here are my top 10 tips.
1. First – find your crowd. Go to every likely event that you can. Even in these days of virtual communication, personal contact makes all the difference. The more networking events, professional conferences, job fairs, professional associations, senior meetings, board meetings and other gatherings you go to, the better your chance of meeting someone who can help you. Getting into meetings and events with senior staff at work gets you noticed.
2. Don’t let lack of confidence be a barrier. If you necessary go with a friend; if you are nervous of crowds take a willing friend along. It can be much easier to have a conversation when you’re not the only one trying to think of what to say. If you don’t have someone to bring then find the out layer on the edge crowd when you get there and start a conversation. Ask how they got there, perhaps, and who do they know. The chances are they are as nervous as you and will be grateful that you spoke to them. Don’t be shy or embarrassed that you’re unemployed. So are millions of other good people.
3. Smile. Smiles are contagious and they show energy. The more you smile the more pleasant the reception you’ll get – people like people who smile.
4. Do your introduction. Prepare your short introduction/elevator speech before you get there and practice saying it.
5. Keep the conversation going. After you start a conversation by introducing yourself, keep up the momentum. It’s much easier to converse when you’re on first name terms with the person you are talking to – so exchange names. Then ask a question using their first name. Once you’ve said hello, ask the person you’re talking to about their job or their field of interest. Show a genuine interest in them and what they are doing – people usually love talking about what they do. If you ask an open-ended question like “What do you think about…” you’ll be able to keep the conversation rolling.
6. Be prepared to answer questions. If the person you’re talking to seems interested in you and asks questions – answer them fully and don’t be dismissive of what you have to offer. Be prepared to explain what qualifications and skills you have and what you are looking for. If you are in employment, be ready to talk about your job and make it interesting.
7. Give out your Business Cards. Have business cards printed with your contact information (name, address, phone, email, LinkedIn profile, etc.) and ready to hand out. That way it’s easy for people to get in touch with you. Keep in them in your pocket or the side of your bag so you can get to them without making a production out of it.
8. Get Business Cards and offer help if you can. If you’re at a professional function, collect business cards. Send a follow up email thanking the person for talking to you. Let them know you appreciate anything they can do to help. Offer to help and contacts if you can. “Giving to get” works every time. Offering to help someone else with their career goals or with job leads, will pay you back with more help than you might imagine.
9. Don’t monopolize the conversation. Spend a few minutes discussion learning about others and talking about your goals, then move on. The more people you talk to, the more opportunities you’ll have.
10. Don’t Be Negative. People don’t like negativity, so don’t bad mouth your (old) job, your (old) boss and the company. Rather put a positive spin on your situation and your future plans.
I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search this week every success and if I can help, please get in touch.