Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Conference events are often attended by a wide range of professionals, from new graduates to highly experienced faculty, and offer a variety of networking opportunities. With a little preparation, attending a conference could lead to your next career move.
There are many things you can do in the days leading up to the conference to prepare for the event. Review your CV or resume and have it ready to send out, print extra business cards if you have one and optimize your social media profiles.
Conferences often provide a list of speakers and attendees in advance of the event. Review the list for names and companies of interest. Use LinkedIn to research contacts, look for current job openings, find mutual connections and prepare talking points that can help when networking. Send a quick message or email introduction to anyone you are especially interested in meeting.
Study the daily itineraries and plan each day to maximize your exposure. Keep in mind, the conference is an opportunity to network while learning.
While you’re there
Every minute counts. Spend as little time in your hotel room as possible. Attend as many sessions and special events as your schedule allows. Stay off your personal devices during breaks and start a conversation with the person next to you. Hang out after a session and introduce yourself to the speaker. Visit the exhibit hall often and speak with company representatives. You never know who will be manning a company’s booth – you may find it’s someone you’d like to meet.
Treat every interaction like an interview. Make eye contact and be sure to smile. Don’t over indulge. Be engaging during conversation. If you happen to meet a mutual contact, be sure to keep the conversation positive and never speak poorly of a former colleague or employer. When you do speak to someone about a job opportunity, make sure to ask the right questions and find out more about the company as well as the opportunity. Don’t forget to get a business card or contact information to follow up after the event. Keep detailed notes about the people you met and what you discussed – especially if a potential job lead is involved.
Once you get home
Unpack your computer and review your networking notes. Now’s the time to contact the great connections you made. Act quickly while everyone’s memories are fresh!
Send LinkedIn connection invitations and follow-up emails. Thank your new contacts for their time. Reference personal facts you picked up during conversation. Tactfully remind them of your job search and let them know you would appreciate their referral on any future opportunities. Remember to include a copy of your CV for reference. Be sure to follow through on any promises you made during conversation, whether it’s a restaurant recommendation or a link to an article you discussed. If you discussed a current opportunity, be sure to apply as quickly as possible and let them know you applied.
Is MEDNAX a good fit for you?
Learn more about our organization and current career opportunities.
Make an appointment to speak with a MEDNAX recruiter at an upcoming event.
Contact: Sharifa Grossman, Clinical Recruiter