With the Fourth of July holiday right around the corner, many Americans will find themselves traveling, camping, enjoying cook-outs, and gathering with family and friends. While it’s a great time to make memories and enjoy a firework show, it’s also a prime time to make sure you’re thinking about your career.
How can a holiday weekend make an impact on your job search? It’s all about networking. Whether you’re planning to attend a neighborhood pool party, barbeque with friends, or participate in a community event, there’s always an opportunity to network and make connections that could help you on your career path. Take a look at these tips for enhancing your summer holiday through the power of networking.
You never know who you may run into at a social gathering, so it’s always important to put your best foot forward. In fact, it’s a commonly held belief that people will form an impression of you in the first seven seconds. When you meet someone new, consider it an informal job interview. Be friendly and positive and don’t be afraid to talk about your hobbies, what you enjoy doing for work, or your career goals. Even if the person you’re meeting doesn’t seem to possess any direct connections to a new job or company you want to work for, they may know someone who does. And, the first impression you give them could make or break your chance at that relationship.
Give yourself value.
When you meet someone for the first time, it may be easy to talk about yourself and share your career goals with the other person. While it’s important to introduce yourself, make sure you also allow your new connection time to speak. And don’t forget to give yourself value by explaining what you can do for the relationship. If you have experience, certain skills, or training that could benefit the other person, make it known. For example, if you’re an experienced welder and you find out your cousin’s friend owns a machine shop that’s looking for welders, be sure to introduce yourself and make your skills known.
Share your contact information.
If you happen to meet someone with connections or a job they’re trying to fill, make sure you get their contact information so you can follow up with them after the holiday weekend. You may want to consider carrying around business cards with your name and contact information for networking purposes. Keep a pen handy so you can write a note on the back of the card, like “Jim’s BBQ” or “Sarah’s Firework Stand” so they will remember where you met when they find your card after the holiday weekend. You may also consider sharing your LinkedIn profile with any new connections. If you have a smart phone or tablet handy, you can even look up the profile of those you network with and add them as a connection before you forget.
Don’t forget to follow up.
After the holiday weekend has ended, consider sending your new contact a handwritten note thanking them for their time or interest and asking if there’s a convenient time for you to meet and further discuss the open position or your career goals. Sending a quick note through email is another way to make a memorable impression and keep your name at the forefront of your new connection’s mind.
How do you plan to network during the holiday weekend? Have you made a job connection through a social event? Share your tips in the comments section below!
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