It is so easy to search and apply for jobs these days: You can simply log on to a job search provider and apply within a few clicks. The issue is that there are hundreds of people doing the same, so you need to find a way to separate yourself from the crowd. There have been some fantastically creative ways that candidates have pitched themselves, such as creating a social media advertising campaign to target CEOs in a certain industry. However, sometimes you just need to simplify things and do it the old-fashioned way.
Networking events get a bad rap because they’re perceived as dull and repetitive; more and more millennials are skipping them altogether and carrying out all their networking online. We’ve got five reasons why networking events are still important.
1. Meeting Employers Face-To-Face
Building relationships is still the easiest way to stand out. If someone in the company knows what you look like and how you communicate, it eliminates a lot of guesswork that comes from analyzing a CV. There are hundreds of cases in which someone got a job working for a company because their parents or friends have a connection there. This is beneficial for the company because they have a character reference. If you don't already have a connection at the company, networking events are a great place to start.
When you meet an employer, you can also get a better idea of what the company can do for you, and determine whether its values align with your own. Sometimes a company can be different from how it promotes itself online. Meeting an employer in person can help you determine whether you'd really like to work for the company or not.
2. Making Valuable Connections with Other Attendees
It can be easy to think that you are competing with other candidates, but networking events are actually a wonderful time to make connections with people who are in the same industry as you. The relationships you build with fellow candidates can last a lifetime, and they add more people to your roster of contacts who could help you with future jobs. Treat other attendees not as competition, but as potential friends. By working with other candidates, you might learn about an opportunity that isn’t right for them, for which they'd be willing to recommend you.
3. Expanding Outside of Your Industry
Event marketing is still widely used by marketing departments in many different industries because it gives them a great chance to compare themselves to competition, and it gives them an opportunity to receive good PR. By attending these events, it is therefore likely that you will have the chance to speak to many different companies in one afternoon. The higher the quantity of jobs you apply for, the higher the chances of a response. It is not uncommon for a company to consider hiring someone from a conversation at a networking event, even if it was not advertising for a specific position.
4. Staying Up-To-Date
Companies often use events to show off new designs, products, or services. By attending industry events, you can be in the know, which is a very powerful tool when asking companies to hire you. It shows that you are passionate about the industry in which you want to work.
If you are already working for a company, it is vital to know your competitors’ products, and whether they have anything that you don’t have. For example, car manufacturers famously unveil new cars at the Geneva Motor Show, and competitors ensure they’re in attendance so they can analyze the new product.
5. Helping Your Business
If you are a startup or a freelancer, then it is important to get to know your industry and consumers. At networking events, you may find yourself talking to a representative of a larger brand who can give you advice, a potential supplier, stockists, or even potential consumers.
Without these events, you are just a name on a screen or on a piece of paper. Networking is well worth the expenses of travel and accommodation, since it could lead you to your dream job.
Amelia is a student and freelance writer, currently undertaking a summer internship at Caunce O’Hara. She’s passionate about politics, people, and building her career. When she’s not writing or at work/uni, you can find her in a nice coffee shop catching up with friends.
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