Guidance for Job Seekers
When it comes to the next step in your career, sometimes it can be who you know rather than what you know. Networking with like-minded individuals within the construction and engineering industry can not only help improve your knowledge of the industry, but open doors for new jobs and career paths in the future.
If you have never been to a networking event before or are generally quite shy when it comes to meeting new people, it can be a daunting experience. Hopefully, after reading this post, you will understand why it is so important to attend these events and go armed with some tips to optimise your time and meet some great people in your industry.
Our next networking event for construction engineering candidates is on Thursday 22nd March 18: email me for more details if you would like to attend.
Why Should You Attend Industry Networking Events?
Build Your Professional Reputation
You may hear people talking about building their ‘brand’. This is exactly what networking events are for. It’s an opportunity for you to make your name known amongst your peers, competitors and potential future employers. Having a small chat with someone at a networking event can often be a warm way of getting interviews at prospective employers.
Broaden Your Horizons
You may be a structural engineer and have a great wealth of knowledge in this area, but can learn about other areas such as project management just by talking to new people. This will not only get your name known, but offers you the opportunity to educate yourself about the industry as a whole rather than your silo.
Improve Industry Knowledge
The construction industry evolves every year and it’s important to keep abreast of all of the latest trends and best practices. This will not only improve your knowledge for your current role, but at interview, will show you have a vast knowledge of where the industry is going as a whole.
Through listening to presentations and talking to employees of competitors, you can gain an insight into the kind of work they are doing and can start to think about applying them to your work. This obviously improves your skills and knowledge, but gives you so much more to talk about in interviews with regards to how you move the needle and ensure them that you are able to take learnings and move on them.
Meet Thought Leaders
Meeting top names within your industry can do wonders in terms of getting your foot in the door at potential employers. While a job offer is more likely to be based on merit rather than who you know, having influential connections can be beneficial.
Meeting with individuals in your industry sector can help you define and plan how you want your own career to go. It can also help you to understand what skills are needed to implement that plan.
Top Tips For Networking
Now that you know why it’s important to attend networking events, take these top tips on board to make the most of them:
Prepare a little overview of who you and what you do. It’ll make you feel less nervous when introducing yourself and helps open up conversation.
Don’t be scared of anyone!
If there is someone at an event who you want to talk to, do it! Being shy or feeling that a particular person would not be interested in talking to you is not going to help you. Approach them confidently and introduce yourself.
Ask questions and listen
When speaking to people, be sure to answer questions and listen intently. People love to talk about themselves and what they do, and the fact that you are asking them follow up questions on what they are saying will show that you are engaged and interested.
Take a business card
Be sure to have your own business card and ask people for their business cards if you have had a good conversation with them. Having their contact information could be the one thing that helps you in the future when it comes to getting a new job at their place of work.
Follow up afterwards
Having met people you would like to keep in touch with, follow up. You could ping them an email saying how much you enjoyed meeting them and would they mind keeping on contact; or find them on LinkedIn and send them a connection request. Make sure you give them a reason to accept, such as by reminding them of your conversation, what you do and why it could be advantageous for them to connect.
Now that you have the tools at your disposal for effective networking, it’s time to get out there and meet people.
Our networking event on Thursday 23rd March 18 would be a good place to start. This is an informal event in London after work for construction engineering professionals where you can make new connections within the industry, and also speak to our team if you’re interested in finding a new role. Send me an email for further details if you would like to attend – [email protected]