Getting the most out of Networking
Whilst the advice below focuses on preparing, attending and following up on the SMS Marketing Careers Fair, it can be applied to just about every networking situation.
When preparing for the fair, it pays to know what you are seeking. You may be in your final year and seeking a full-time job or internship or be looking to learn more about the marketing industry as a first year. In any case, draw up a shortlist of companies you would like to approach and do your research on them. Sydney Marketing Society (SMS) makes it easier for you as the careers guide contains profiles answering most generic questions, freeing you up to ask representatives more detailed and specific ones. Prepare a 30 second to one minute introduction of yourself along with your CV and business cards if you want to appear extra prepared.
When approaching a representative at the fair, spend some time building rapport by discussing the industry, asking them about their experiences or introducing yourself before asking them about job opportunities. Do not just jump right in and ask about the firms graduate and or intern opportunities. If you spend a little extra time to develop a natural conversation, you are more likely to standout and be remembered. Naturally, you should be professionally dressed, show enthusiasm and ask good questions. You should also ask for business cards or contact details so as to follow up with your new connections.
Finally, always follow up with your new contacts. Add them on LinkedIn and send them an email. In your email, remind them first of who you are (industry representatives will be meeting numerous students at the SMS Careers Fair – if you networked well they should remember you). Subsequently, enquire about continuing your discussion over an information interview or about potential openings at their company, having done the legwork for this at the networking event beforehand.