As an executive, you have been in the workforce for many years. Therefore, you know the importance of make the most out of networking events as you search for new opportunities. Networking events present people with amazing opportunities to get to know recruiters and learn more about different companies. However, it can be easy to botch a networking event if you make any of these common errors.
1. Going in Unprepared
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself, “How do I create the most effective executive resume?” Even if you have a plethora of experience to add, you may find yourself struggling with knowing where to start and what’s most important to include. Once you find the answer to that question, you can take that initial step into being prepared for your networking event. If you try to use your old resume, you likely won’t find much success and will just be wasting your time. If you find you need help updating and organizing your resume properly, you can always get in touch with a resume writing service.
2. Not Treating Networking Events as Interviews
Colleagues will ask you questions when you’re at a networking event. This is by design, because a networking event is essentially an initial interview and a chance to make a great first impression. Just like you, businesses are trying to find a good match. Now would be the time to brush up on your LinkedIn profile development, because recruiters could (and will) check out your profile right after speaking with you. It never hurts to cover all of your bases. Linkedin is also a great way to do a little digital networking in your spare time.
3. Not Accurately Representing Your Skills
You know all the most important elements to include on a resume. The hard part is figuring out how it all ties into the position you’re seeking with a company. Tailoring your resume for specific positions is a vital aspect of c-level personal branding. It’s not enough to simply list out all of your accomplishments, but to do so with the goals of the company in mind. Think about how you could benefit them and how your skills match their objectives, and you’ll go that much farther come the day of the networking event.
4. Not Visiting With Other Employers
Don’t be laser focused on one or two company employees at a networking event. You may be passing up a great opportunity that was right in front of you! At least shake hands with other executives and strike up conversations with them. They may not have an opening for your position now, but that could change at any time.
5. Not Doing Homework
This may go without saying, but people in the industry talk to each other. It’s likely that your colleagues already know about you, so you need to return the favor. This could start with getting to know the company’s executives on LinkedIn, but you also need to research information about the specifics of the company. Don’t hesitate to really dig in and learn as much about the companies you’re interested in as you can. The more you know about them and their mission and values, the more productive your meetings and small talk will be at these networking events.
6. Expecting Immediate Results and Accommodation
As an executive, there’s no doubt you’re extremely experienced and qualified for the positions at this networking event. However, you’re not the only one. Yes, you’ve accomplished a lot over the course of your career, but you should never let your achievements go to your head in the middle of a professional event! Remember: you’re up against some stiff competition. Going into the networking event expecting a job right off the bat because of your credentials is a recipe for major self-sabotage. Be humble, be gracious and be open. Try to meet as many new contacts as possible, and stay in touch with them. Even if you don’t get a job right off the bat, going to this event could lead to a new and satisfying position down the road.
Networking events are great resources to find job opportunities you may not have known were even out there. When you’re ready to attend a networking event, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or need help preparing so you don’t make these mistakes or others.
By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.