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10 tips for developing new contacts:

In Quebec, 85% of companies prioritize internal referencing to recruit before posting jobs on the Web. And about 30% of people get jobs through their network.

These statistics clearly demonstrate why, when looking for a job, it is advantageous to call on your network, to meet new people and to make yourself known.

Building your network also means:

Participate in “Happy Hour” (and interact with others!) Be active on the Internet (video, social media, blog, etc.) Attend conferences Take trainings Register for activities Get involved in your community Etc.

These actions will allow you to meet new people and get closer to your professional goals. However, I am aware that for many, this requires getting out of your comfort zone and therefore sometimes making a considerable effort.

To support you in this quest, I present to you the main concerns that people feel about meeting new people in a professional context, as well as some concrete tips for overcoming these obstacles.

1. You are unsure of the usefulness of your participation in an event

First of all, I invite you to bet on quality before quantity. Choose your events wisely depending on who is hosting it, who is attending and what you have to offer and what you will get out of it.

Before the event, set a specific goal. It can be to meet a relevant person already chosen or to meet 5 new people. Once your goal is reached, you can leave in peace, knowing that your evening will not have been wasted.

2. You are shy

Right before the event, you can use some visualization techniques. Imagine having a good time chatting with the other guests in a friendly and relaxed manner. The goal is to predict that the evening will go well instead of anticipating events in a negative way.

You can also put yourself in a positive mental state by doing something that makes you happy before the activity: listening to a particular song, taking a walk, etc.

Upon arrival, adopt an attitude of openness to others and smile. People are more likely to come to you.

3. Should I speak to this person?

Skip the first impression. You never know what people can do for you, help or share contacts. Dare to reach out to others! Allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised!

4. You are nervous

Start the evening by going out to people you are familiar with or know a little about. Once “warmed up” you will feel ready to meet new people.

Tip: To avoid sweaty handshakes, clean your hands with disinfectant (eg: Purell). Dry hands guaranteed!

5. You don’t know who to go to

If you know the organizers of the activity or other people, you can meet them when you arrive. They will undoubtedly have some interesting people to introduce you to! You can also put them in touch with other people.

For the rest of the evening, go to strangers and introduce yourself! You’re there to make new contacts, aren’t you? Avoid spending your evening with people you already know.

To make yourself more comfortable, prepare a short presentation: your name, your field of activity and the reason why you are there. Preferably, mention your interest in meeting people in the field rather than talking about job search.

6. You have trouble remembering names

To help you, you can repeat the person’s name while greeting them or relate them to someone you know.

7. You don’t know what to talk about

Discuss what surrounds you: the topic of the conference or speaker, the location, a common knowledge that is present. You can also be interested in your interlocutor by asking him questions; people like to talk about themselves. You can also try to find something in common with your interlocutor.

8. You have found an interesting person with whom you have common interests

Keep in mind your original goal and try not to monopolize it. You, like her, are there to meet new people and meet many people. Go exploring!

9. You don’t know when to give your business card

You can give it away at the end of a chat with someone you are interested in. The main goal is not to give it to just anyone at the start of a conversation. This shows little interest in your interlocutor and gives the impression that you are participating for the sole purpose of distributing your cards to as many people as possible.

When you are given a business card, take a few moments to write down certain information to remember your interlocutor: correct pronunciation of their name if necessary, context in which you met them, affinities, topics of conversation discussed, etc.

Another tip: plan your clothing. A jacket or a handbag is convenient for keeping your business cards. Store your own cards in one place and received cards in another. This will allow you to avoid mistakes and make a mistake when submitting.

Quickly after the event, add the people you meet on LinkedIn. Attach a message to your invitation that specifies the context in which you met and wink at the discussions you had.

You can also find a reason and contact the person a few days after the event, by another means (phone, email, etc.). This could be, for example, to provide him with more precise information on a subject you have spoken about, an upcoming event, or even give him the name and contact details of one of your contacts.

Be careful, however: thing promised, thing due! Keep your promises and relay information quickly!

Coming home: it’s not over, it’s just the start!

You are back, proud of the new encounters you have made, your hands full of business cards and your head full of names. But your work is not done!

Here are my last tips for the next step:

Organize your contacts to find information quickly. Give before asking. Offer your support, your knowledge, your contacts. Thus, people will be more inclined to respond to your requests. Keep in touch with these people on a regular basis. This way, they will remember you and you will avoid the trap of calling on others only when you need to! Thank your contacts for the help you get.

Here you are, you have set up the base of your network or you have enlarged the one you already had. Now maintain it and reap the rewards of your efforts! Remember: networking is as useful when looking for a job as it is when you are employed. The advice of our contacts can be useful in resolving a difficulty encountered during employment. In short, at all times, it is desirable to maintain your network.

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