The focus of networking today is often online networking. As the hiring process has gone digital, many individuals focus their job search on clicking ‘connect’ rather than saying hello. While online networking is absolutely critical, first impressions and in-person connections are also vital.
If you’re an active job seeker, every day is a new opportunity to make a connection that leads to a job. Unfortunately, networking rarely comes naturally, particularly for those in the cleared job space. Years of not being able to discuss your job can often lead to an inability to know what exactly you should be talking about, particularly in a pseudo-professional relationship.
A recent article on Medium offered a great tip for those who struggle with networking. The simple tip is this – remember one thing about each person you meet. Your mind will become a jumbled mess if you try to remember the name of the spouse, favorite restaurant and recent home renovation projects of every professional contact. But if you can remember that James has a passion for gardening, and bring it up the next time you meet – you can bet he’ll be more eager to speak with you.
Networking in the No-hobby zone
In a career-driven area such as Washington, D.C., making networking personal can be particularly difficult. (Hobbies – what are those?) But in a land where ‘what’ you do quickly becomes ‘who’ you are – making the one fact you remember about each person you meet something other than a resume bullet goes a long way.
If you’re attending a lot of events and think it’s impossible to remember details about everyone, consider memory tricks. Try writing a one-word hint on the back of business cards, or as a note in a cell phone contact. And remember just one fact. Trying to remember everything about everyone you meet is impossible.