Loyola University Maryland

The Career Center

Execution at a Network Event

It is the day of your networking event. You've established your goal(s) for the event, researched the attending employers, you are dressed in your best suit (depending on the event), and are prepared with your elevator pitch and resume...now it's time to make a good first impression. 

The Approach

  • Understand the layout of the room
    • Identify where your companies/individuals of interest are located
    • Go for a lap around the fair (just one - you don't want that employer to notice you've passed them four times!)
  • Approach a company (not one of your top choices) as a warm-up and to help you feel more at ease 
  • Check your non-verbals
    • Offer a firm handshake
    • Remember to smile
    • Engage in consistent eye contact (don't be looking at someone else)
    • Maintain good posture (e.g., stand up straight, don't rock or cross your arms)
    • Convey an even tone of voice and pitch, and an appropriate volume and speed of speaking
  • State your first and last name, and listen for their name 
    • Try to use the other person's name during the conversation
  • Share your elevator pitch

The Conversation

  • Engage with the individuals/companies in attendance
    • Utilize your list of prepared questions 
    • Actively listen and keep track of information shared 
    • Balance listening and talking - don't dominate the conversation
  • Record notes during the conversation or wait until you step away (e.g., on your note pad or the back of their business cards) 
  • Focus on the conversation and networking, NOT the food/drink when available
    • Limit the amount of eating in general, but if you must eat, limit the amount of food on your plate or eat before the event
    • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Articulate how your skills and experiences match the needs of employers

The Closing

  • Hand out your resume when appropriate (not all companies will accept a paper resume)
  • Request a business card
  • Discuss next steps when applicable (e.g., regarding follow-up, process for application, connecting on LinkedIn)
  • Offer a closing handshake and thank them for their time and for the information shared
After the Event: Evaluation

Hire Loyola Logo