For an accountancy professional in particular, networking is important. They must demonstrate that they have the contacts to match with their ability and skillset. There are few more effective ways to meet new people in the industry than networking.
Although extremely useful, this can be a daunting task for someone that has had little experience in doing so. Here are our top tips for effective networking:
Join formal networking events and groups
As with most industries, there are a range of associations and bodies that hold seminars, workshops and networking sessions. Meeting professionals from outside of your current circle is a way of discovering standards, new trends and unlocking opportunities within the accountancy field.
At events held by trade magazines and industry bodies you are guaranteed to meet useful contacts.
What are your goals?
Why is it that you’re attending a networking event? What do you hope to get out of it? Answering these questions before you arrive, or choose which event to attend, will have an impact on the topics of conversation you will lead and what types of person you will look to engage with. The more you know what you’re trying to achieve, the better your connections will be.
No matter the scale of the event, get there early. As one of the first arrivals, you’ll have a calmer and relaxed atmosphere to speak to the fellow early arrivals before groups and conversations have settled.
Prepare your elevator pitch
One of the rules to follow in networking is making it about what you can do for others, not the other way around. At some point at the event you will have to provide a snapshot of yourself. Focus on your key skills, specialist areas and experience that you’ve acquired.
Networking is where the relationship starts, not ends. Many wait until the next networking session in the hope that they’ll cross paths with the same person that they had a good conversation with. Instead of waiting, follow up with them after the event. Generally, try to get in touch within 48 hours of meeting them.
The ultimate takeaway should be to build strong relationships with people rather than just a list of contact information.
Touchstone Recruitment has a specialist team that oversee the accountancy & finance sector. Browse the current jobs or contact us on 020 3143 4600 to let us know what accountancy role you are looking for.