Lesson 7: Bonuses — Networking Events, LinkedIn, and Foreign Students
Networking events that are specific to your industry are a great way to meet “I’s,” people that can give you information, and “H’s,” people that have the power to hire you. Networking events specifically targeting job seekers, like career fairs, are mostly only attended by other job seekers and may not be the best way for you to network.
Industry-specific workshops, seminars, conferences, and affiliation events, however, are great places to network.
Here are a few tips.
1. Of course, before you head to your event, ask yourbuddy to check how you look, your handshake, your body odor, etc. Skip back to that first lesson to make sure you seem as presentable as possible.
2. If possible, try to get a list of attendees and research each one. If you’re friends with the person that does your affiliation’s annual seminar, for example, you can ask them, “hey, which companies are attending?” And then, you can briefly research each company to see if they seem to fit what you were looking for. That way, you can talk about what they do specifically, differentiating yourself from the rest of the attendees, and be a lot more memorable.
3. Talk to someone briefly at each booth. Get each person’s business card and add them to your pyramid when you get home. I have a specific template in my template pack that you can use to reach out to folks that you meet at events.
This is opposed to sticking to one person throughout the event. Networking events are not a good place to develop friendships! Go to the event alone, if possible, cast a wide net, and nurture those relationships into friendships later when you have time to give each person your undivided attention. Some of these conferences can be expensive to attend, and you want to get your money’s worth, and your time’s worth, by meeting as many people as possible.
One way to “close” an interaction with a chatty Cathy you’re talking to is to say, “I would love to speak to you a bit more. Your opportunities in (field) sound exactly suited to my skills and interests. May I have your card? When may I call you to discuss (project) further?”
4. Lastly, be sure to take a few resumes or portfolios – whatever is most relevant to your field – to give to decision-makers you see.
Now let’s talk about LinkedIn.
I use LinkedIn very actively. Throughout my career, I’ve loved some of the things LinkedIn has been doing. A person’s profile acts as a mine of information that you can use to build a connection with them. With that being said…
… I recommend using LinkedIn only to gather information or email addresses. I do not recommend its messaging platform. Many times, complete threads of messages were deleted from my account. Using your regular email account will allow you to send delayed follow ups, search through messages, and keep track of your contacts.
… As I recommend only using LinkedIn to primarily gather information and email addresses, I do not recommend LinkedIn premium. In my professional opinion, a free account offers so much value, that the premium version just isn’t worth it. If there’s a particular feature you really want to use with LinkedIn premium, simply google the feature’s name along with the phrase “free workaround.”
Furthermore, using premium to check who’s viewed your profile multiple times a day is not really the best use of your time. Simply stay on top of your outreach and follow up efforts. By doing, talking, sending, etc. you’re more likely to see success than just by sitting and waiting for people to come to you anyway.
As a business owner, I publish lots of content on LinkedIn. That’s because it allows me to be on top of people’s mind without being invasive. It’s a very, very long-term strategy that requires a lot of mental investment. I do not think publishing articles is the best use of your time as a job seeker. If I were using LinkedIn to look for jobs, I’d use it just for outreach, not for publishing.
In this last lesson, I’m going to be outlining the steps you can take if you don’t have your green card or US passport yet. How can you compete with professionals that do?
One website I recommend using is h1bdata.info. You can simply plug in your location or job title to see a complete list of companies that have sponsored professionals in the past. If a company has sponsored someone in the past, it is very likely that they will be willing to do it again.
Instead of applying to any jobs you see, consider strictly applying to jobs posted by the companies that show up here. This database will show the big sponsors like Amazon, but will also show you the smaller sponsors with smaller company sizes. And like I said in the first lesson, applying only to large companies can be a big networking mistake.
I recommend copying whatever company names you see here and pasting them into a large job aggregator like Indeed if you’re applying to jobs online. It is one extra step, but instead of spending two hours applying to 10 companies that may not sponsor you, you spend two-and-a-half hours applying to 10 companies that may sponsor you.
I also recommend searching for these companies on LinkedIn and connecting with and talking to the people that work there. If you can find someone from your native country or from your alma mater back home, you instantly have a connection with them and feeding them into your pyramid becomes effortless. My dad, for example, graduated from Aligarh University in New Delhi, and whenever he meets an alumnus from Aligarh, they form an instant bond.
That brings me to the conclusion of this networking tutorial. Thank you so much for investing the time and energy into going through my material. Here’s a brief summary of everything we learned:
- You know more people than you think you know.
- Networking is all about greasy wheels.
- You should never let fear prevent you from asking for help.
- Always follow up.
I’d like to leave you with one final note. You can research and research until you’re blue in the face, but none of that knowledge really matters unless you act.
To get you started, I’d like to once again iterate that you can always, always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your elevator pitch, emails, and whatever questions you have.
Thank you once again, and Happy Networking!
Access the rest of the lessons here:
Making Outreach Mimic “Natural” Conversations
This tutorial is a step-by-step, easy-to-follow blueprint that you can use to get more interviews – interviews that focus on what you can do for the company – not interviews where you are grilled about whether you are competent enough to do the job.
While this tutorial is a complete blueprint that you can follow, each lesson can also be applied one at a time (like this one) so you can see immediate results.
By breaking the job search process down into their “natural” steps, we immediately bring back control and transparency to your job search.
No more wondering who is looking at your resume, what the job really entails, or why you really got rejected.
This tutorial is not untested advice that I stitched together from sources on the internet; rather, you’ll get a roadmap that you can use to conduct outreach that actually gets responses. I’ve put this roadmap together after years of testing and research.
If you’ve purchased our resume writing or LinkedIn profile building service, you can access this tutorial for free. Simply drop the email address you’ve been using to communicate with me here and I’ll set you up.
My name is Fatemah and I am the Client Success Manager at CareerTuners. I help our resume writing clients navigate the job search world. Throughout my career at CareerTuners, I’ve helped hundreds of clients get their resumes in the right hands.
Throughout these lessons, if you get stuck with any part of the networking process, simply shoot me an email at email@example.com. I’ll be there for you if you need feedback on your networking notes, can’t figure out what to say, or if you feel you might have messed something up.
If you’d like to feel confident about your job search again, you can purchase this tutorial below: