Living in a large city provides job seekers with advantages in job transition because of the wide range of ways to build a network. Phoenix has professional affiliation groups for almost any industry a candidate could be interested in securing a position. Just showing up is not an effective way to maximize these opportunities, so plan ahead to get the most out of your time.
- Look at the agenda for the event. Most professional groups will have a mix of ‘general business’ activities along with an industry speaker and networking time. First time attending a group’s event, you may want to select one that has more time for networking to evaluate whether the people involved in the group would be aligned to your job transition goals.
- Be prepared, but not aggressive. Networking events are a great place to meet people who could be involved in companies you may want to pursue, but the event itself isn’t the time to share your resume. If you want to bring general resumes to carry in a portfolio, that is fine but don’t hand them out unless the event specifically calls for that or you are asked for one from a person you meet.
- Get business cards. Once you have attended an event, remember to email anyone you met within 48 hours and thank them for their time. If appropriate, you could attach your resume if the conversation you had with them opened that door.
Depending on the industry, there may be more than one local organization that will fit the goal of networking, so try more than one group’s events if possible to find the one that is best for the level and type of position you are seeking. For more information about how to navigate the job search process, there is a free event open to the public this Saturday: http://uopxphxseptcareerseries.eventbrite.com/