An endorsement from someone the hiring manager trusts is an extremely powerful means of influence. People in your network are also a great source of information about relevant job openings, and may be able to provide advice about how best to position yourself to the company. Sometimes, the best opportunities don’t reach job boards or recruiters because people within the network of the hiring company get to it first. Take the time to build a professional network. Below are five ways to meet new professional contacts.
Conferences And Events
Attending a conference or event is a great way to meet a large group of professional contacts. Professional events are often publicized through industry newsletters and blogs. Try to find a guest or speaker list to determine if the event is worth attending. This will also allow you to be productive with your time if you do attend. Conferences relevant to your industries of interest or skill sets may generate the most opportunities. Ideally, the conference will also offer great speakers and some educational value.
At Getin2China we thrive on not only offering you fabulous internships in Beijing and Shanghai, but we host some pretty darn good networking events too. You can see for yourself here and here. Whatever networking event you attend, approach someone you’re interested, offered a firm handshake and make a connection.
Introductions Through People You Know
Looking within your network for introductions is one of the most effective ways to generate new professional contacts. Ask people you know for contacts in the industry, at specific companies you’d like to work for, or even specific people within a department. Use LinkedIn to identify individuals you would like to meet, and look at your shared connections.
Cold Reach Outs
If there’s someone you would really like to meet, and you don’t have a strong connection, you’ll have to reach out cold. Your success rate will vary depending on the role of the person you’re reaching out to, and the value you offer. An effective cold e-mail is short, personalized, and clearly describes how you can help the person and why they should meet with you. You can engage with the person on the public social networks that they engage on, such as Twitter, Quora, or their blog, to “warm up” your cold e-mail.
Private Events, Groups, And Parties
Private events, groups and parties can also be helpful for business networking, to enchance your personal interests such as poker, or strictly social. Have a friend bring you to a party where you won’t know anyone. People often spend time with people of similar strength, so if you like your friend, it’s likely that he/she will know other good people.
As an intern in China, private events, groups, and parties are easy to come by on your own. There are towns of websites catering to expats that list loads of these events. Because you’ll all in the same boat – living, interning or working in China – it’s easy to meet people. Your life in China is something that you have in common and shared experiences is a great way to break the ice.