Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Networking over the Holidays

With the holidays come holiday parties and a great chance to network. This was the subject of a recent article by Ivan Misner on Entrepreneur.com titled “Networking Strategies for the Holiday.” And while the article is geared toward entrepreneurs, the tips are also useful for job seekers. Misner points out that networking is often only thought of in conjunction with traditional professional events, such as Chamber of Commerce events or use of online professional networking sites, but that holiday parties present a great opportunity to get your name out there.

Below are Misner’s tips for successful holiday party networking:

Be prepared: Find out in advance who will be there, and come armed with some information about them that will make it easier to break the ice.

Ask good questions: Misner says that people love to talk about themselves, so be sure to ask good questions.

Come prepared with a teaser topic: Another ice-breaking tip, a teaser topic could be an idea you’ve come up with that could improve the networking contact’s business.

Stay away from the alcohol: A two-drink rule is a good one for holiday networking. You don’t want to smell of alcohol or appear inebriated.

Be confident: Think of a list of your accomplishments before the party. Remembering those accomplishments will help you approach people with confidence. And, if appropriate, you could even weave them into your conversation.

Secure future meetings: Introductions at holiday parties to a potential connection should be followed up with a one-on-one meeting. Misner reminds readers that holiday parties are social gatherings and should be treated as such, so leave the real business chats for a later meeting.

Don’t treat the party like a business mixer: Most importantly, use finesse while following these suggestions. People are turned off by someone overtly networking during a holiday party, so do so with discretion and have fun!

Click here to read the article.

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