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Attending Events as a Job Seeker

Networking can be a great way to increase your contacts and help you find work. It can also be a little daunting. Here are some top tips to help you make the most of the events you attend. 

Networking can be an important tool in finding work. A great way to meet new people (and potential employers) is through attending industry events but it can be daunting going to these events; so I thought that I would share some top tips.

1. Research what events are happening

The Wired Sussex Events Calendar is a great place to start. You can browse through the calendar to find events you are interested in. You can also sign up for email alerts.

2. Get in touch with the organiser

Most events publish information about the person who will be hosting the event. If you are nervous about attending you can drop them a message and let them know you’re coming (that way you’ll already know someone there). You could also find out some more information about the event to help you prepare.

3. See who else is going 

Do a little bit of research to find out who else will be at the event. Sometimes this is listed on the Eventbrite page, or you might be able to ask the event organiser who (or what companies) they are expecting to attend.

4. Prepare 

List some talking points so that you know what you want to get out of the event. 

I find it useful to put together an elevator pitch about myself so that I can concisely say who I am, what I do and why I am there.

5. At the event

Hopefully having done your research and prepared your elevator pitch you are set to go. 

A tip that I use when networking is to ask for business cards, this means that you have the ability to send followup emails instead of relying on the other person to contact you. 

I also make a note of the people who I have spoken with and what we discussed to help me frame my followup emails.

6. After the event

If you took business cards, make sure that you send followup emails within a couple of days. Keep this short and clear (but polite) about what you want to get out of the connection. Remind them where you met, what you discussed and what you're looking for.

7. Stay in touch

Finally, once you have built your network don’t forget to stay in touch. You want to ensure that you are at the front of peoples minds when they have opportunities. But be aware that there is a fine line between staying in touch and becoming a bit of a nuisance.  Social media is a good way of doing this but you might also want to send an email every now and then.  

Happy networking!

About the author

Rebecca Groves

Hi, I'm Wired Sussex's Skills and Talent Strategy Lead. I oversee our skills and talent strategy for the regional digital sector. This includes the delivery of activity which addresses this strategy, such as our annual Talent festival, and working with members to help them benefit from our initiatives.

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