Networking is not a new thing; it is a proven method of connecting with people in order to expand your career contacts. As a job seeker, it is extremely important to attend networking events to continue to grow your professional network in a strategic manner.
Effective networking is a continual process. Even if you are a happily employed individual, there is always the off chance of a layoff or downsizing, actively expand your connections and nurture the current relationships you have.
If you find that you are a naturally timid individual at social gatherings, it is important to find a mentor to help you become a social networker. Confidence is a key part of networking. You must be able to sell your abilities if you are asked, but don’t oversell, this is an opportunity to connect, at this point. Even though these events can feel awkward it is important to not become a wall flower. Make it a goal for you to connect with three people before you leave. Make sure they are solid conversations and you leave with their business card.
If you are currently in the process of looking for work, don’t ask for a job, ask for advice. Smile. Shake hands and make a good first impression. Be friendly to everyone you come in contact with and ask questions. The more you know, the more you know.