Networking is one of the most difficult but magical skills in the business world. Great networking can provide you with not only insightful industry knowledge but also potential job and collaboration opportunities. Yet it could sometimes be scary and intimidating because it’s hard to start a conversation with a stranger.
Especially for introverted international students, you may have had a bad networking experience before or just simply worry about our English language skills. If this sounds like you, don’t worry. In this article, we will give you 5 critical tips on how to network with industry professionals both in person and online.
How Do I Network Effectively in Person?
How do you dress up for a networking event to show your professionalism? People have an instinctive way of judging other people, sometimes just based on what they look like. It only takes 3 seconds to judge a person! Everyone prefers to dress comfortably. As university students, you feel comfortable wearing t-shirts, hoodies, sports pants and shoes. But in a business environment, people dress professionally. Why?
The major reason why dressing in proper business attire is because it is a visual image of yourself which sends a message that you are professional. Therefore, you need to dress appropriately for the business environment, such as an industry networking event.
If you are unsure about the networking event’s vibe, you can always create an outfit with a blazer. You can dress it up or down to meet your needs. Dress for success is the key!
On the other hand, avoid using strong perfume, applying bold makeup, or wearing over-shining jewellery when you meet people you don’t know in the first place. Although Australian society embraces freedom and encourages you to show your own personality, again, people still have an instinctive way of judging people. They determine if you are friends or foes through the first impression. You never know if the person in front of you likes your appearance or not.
With that, it is important to wear low-profile jewellery and apply neutral makeup and light fragrance (optional) at a networking event or when you first meet someone in the workplace. You can always show your personality gradually once you establish a relationship with others in the future.