Networking Advice vs Real Life
By Kelsey Judd, Intern
I had a great opportunity to attend Media Bistro’s PRNewser Cocktail Party sponsored by Horn Group last night. The setting was at The Empire Room, picture plush chairs, crystal chandeliers and a swooping bar. People in attendance were professionals from all different industries such as, print journalism, book publishing, online media, advertising, PR, design and more. Some were there to catch up with friends and colleagues while others were there to meet new faces. It was fun to observe the different ways people went about networking, compared to the advice I had been given.
Last year I planned and executed a networking event, I-Network, for all of Brigham Young University- Idaho students. The guest speaker was Drew Eager, former Senior Director of Brand Marketing for Dennys Restaurant and I remember him saying “Don’t be afraid to reach out; people want to help you.” Another piece of advice I’ve come across was on The Young PR Pro blog stating:
“For some networking events, it might be unwieldy to lug resumes with you. If you’ve graduated and are now searching for a job, I suggest getting some business cards made containing a mini resume of sorts. If you really want to get high tech, make a QR code that links to your personal website, portfolio, or even LinkedIn profile.”
Advice from a friend who is a lawyer:
“First off, do NOT take your resume. You don’t want to lug it around and others don’t want to lug it around. Second, toward the end of every conversation with someone that you meet that you think might be a potential employer in the future, just ask for their business card. After getting it say, “Thanks, I’ll be in touch.” That’s all you have to do. The person will feel important and then it’s easy for you to contact them. If you hand out your resume, you’re relying on them to contact you.”
I think having a business card especially as a student or a recent graduate is a little pretentious. I only saw two fellow interns last night and one recent graduate looking for a job and none of them had a business card. I did see the graduate passing out his resume but the way he did it was smart; it was packaged. In an envelope he had his resume along with writing samples and references. Professionals took it and easily slipped it into their bag. The only downfall I see in this plays into the advice my lawyer friend gave me “If you hand out your resume, you’re relying on them to contact you.” They have his information but he doesn’t have their business card, Twitter handle, or email. Professionals are usually too busy to reach out to someone they’ve barely met.
I’m curious to hear from others about how they want to be approached at networking opportunities like last night or what successful experiences they’ve had in the past, even better, networking stories gone wrong!
Media Bistro link
Link for The Young PR Pro blog