When it comes to your career, you know that networking isn't a one-hit-and-done proposition. It takes time, effort, and investment--and often, you might wonder whether or not you're really accomplishing anything at all. Sure, you get to know a lot of interesting people in your field, and it's great that you're getting your name and your face out there; but how can you ensure that your name, your face, and your credentials will be the ones to stand out?
According to this source, what makes you stand out the most isn't your sparkling personality, your can't-beat-it resume, or your determination to rise through the ranks of your field as quickly as possible. No, according to themuse.com, the best way to ensure that those connections you've made will remember you tomorrow is to remember something about them from each contact and use it in conversation the next time you see them.
The theory, they explain, is that people are more likely to care about you when they believe that you care about them and the things that they're interested in.
According to this principle, taking the time to note that seemingly random fact may be the difference between a person taking note of you the next time you speak and your face just becoming another vaguely familiar one that they "may" recall seeing once before.
At a loss for how to accomplish this, especially at a networking event where you might make numerous different contacts in a short span of time?
It's simple: have a cheat sheet.
- If you exchange business cards, take a moment to jot your notes about the person on the back of the card. It's probably best to do this while they aren't looking on, especially if you don't them to know immediately what you're doing.
- Putting a number into your phone? Add it to their contact information.
- Once you're home, take a minute to sit down and re-copy that information into your address book (whether it's a paper book or on your computer) so that you'll be sure to remember it when you next contact that individual.
- Visit LinkedIn to see if they have a professional profile which may provide even further insight to their personal or professional life.
- Who knows? It could be the difference betweena successful networking experience and one that falls completely flat.
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