At Wednesday night’s Medill IMC networking reception in Chicago, I ran into Edward Bury, who wrote a guest post here earlier this year. I soon learned Edward has a lot of networking savvy, so I asked him to share some thoughts on the importance of networking. He agreed to write another post and called my attention to his blog which generously provides valuable insights for job seekers.
Here is a summary of Edward’s impressive networking efforts from June 1 to July 1, and his personal observations about the process:
- Breakfast meeting with a former national president of the Public Relations Society of America.
- Senior PR leaders reception sponsored by PRSA Chicago at Tribune Tower.
- Lunch with two public relations industry colleagues.
- A career coaching event sponsored by the Association Forum of Chicago.
- A “consultants circle” of public relations and marketing professionals held at a suburban Starbucks.
- A luncheon sponsored by PRSA Chicago.
- A new business meeting with a diversified Chicago real estate company.
- An alumni event sponsored by Illinois State University.
- Another new business meeting — the result of a lead from a networking event I attended in June.
- A casual meeting with a prospective client over beers.
- Lunch today with a former colleague.
And, for good measure, in the past 30 days I had two formal, face-to-face job interviews, two phone interviews and one online career event.
On average, in the past month I attended or participated in some career advancement activity every other day. This was a lot of work, but it’s necessary to help me reach my goal of securing that next great position in public relations.
Companies don’t hire resumes; they hire people. The best way to put myself out in front of people I don’t know is to shut off the computer, put on appropriate attire and get out of the house. Don’t forget the business cards, your “career summary speech” and your personality. And, don’t be bashful about letting those you meet know why you’re there.
So far, July is a little bit light in terms of networking events, with just two on the books. But that will change.