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Networking can be scary. I was scared when I was thrown into the industry at 16. There were executives of big branded companies, future employers, and people way more outgoing than I was at the time.

I used to think that networking was extroverted people making conversation and turning it back to themselves, like a salesman. 

But that’s not the case. 

I was introverted majority of the time growing into the industry. I found my networking skills through mutual friends, watching how others interacted, and developing skills to stand out among others my age. 

So I compiled 5 tips to strengthen your confidence when you get into a situation and have to sell yourself. 

That is all this really is – selling yourself like a salesman. You want to be the best product for a prospective employer and mutual friends. 

Through 6 years of being on both the hiring and interviewing side – I understand what people look for in soft skill qualities. 

It’s important to start the conversation. It can be intimidating – but it initiates a strong first impression. 

Shaking hands, saying your name and occupation – asserts dominance and starts the conversation. 

Once the conversation has started, you want to find a connecting point.

This can be professional or personal. Whether you are in the same industry or like the same car brands. 

Anything to establish a connection and foundation of alike interests. 

Finding a common ground by participating and active listening can lead you a good first impression.

Starting topics from your industry or complimenting certain achievements can give a further discussion and excellent antidote in a follow up email.

Asking questions on interests, what they do, and how they can achieve their goals – is a great way to find more information.

Bottom line, people enjoy talking about themselves. It’s true – even I love boasting about career achievements and what I do. 

Just like finishing a term paper, it’s best to keep the audience wanting more. Bringing attention to how your company or your qualities can provide gain to them – is crucial. 

Handing out business cards or giving out your company name once more, most people love conversation – but sometimes forget a face. 

Follow up email or contact inquiry shortly after puts you on the top of the network.

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