Networking is the #1 way to get a job in 2013. Jobseekers should consider every interaction a potential networking opportunity – because you never know who may have, or know of, the perfect job for you. Are you able to articulate the unique value you offer an employer, at a moment’s notice? Most people aren’t. With a little planning and practice, you can always be ready to sell yourself effectively to advance your career.
You should have different versions of your introduction. What you say to someone at a networking event should probably be different from what you say to a neighbor when out walking or a chance encounter at the grocery store. Each starts with a Compelling Conversation Opener – a brief statement that piques the interest of the listen and prompts them to ask for more information.
Rather than a description of what you have done in the past, your introduction should be a forward facing statement of the value you offer an employer. One of the most effective opening lines includes why you love to do what you do. Then, explain what you do, who you help, and how you do it. Do not start off with “Well, I used to…”. Your likability factor is as important as your skillset. People enjoy being around happy people. Smile, and keep it upbeat and positive. Let them know that you are good at what you do, and you enjoy it. Your positive energy will pay off.