What do you think is a more effective networking strategy? Going to an industry event with others in your same profession? Or going to an event in a totally different industry where you’ll stand out?
One of the best ways to stand out in job search networking is to be the only one in the room like you. Why not crash an event in another industry?
If you’re an accounting professional, you may find some industry contacts from companies or recruiters who are hiring at a CPA society meeting. These folks will likely be crowded by dozens or hundreds of other job seekers at the event – so you can expect a great deal of competition, with little opportunity to stand out.
What if you went to an engineering event instead, in a room full of professionals outside your own profession?
At the engineering event, you probably won’t find many other bean counters. If you break the ice and find some common ground with a few people, an event in a different industry may allow you to create a greater number of contacts valuable to your search.
If you’re a advertising professional looking for another job at a networking event, it can be easier to remain front of mind with others who heard of advertising jobs, if you’re the only advertising person at the event. At an event full of advertising people, it’s tough for even the most talened professional to stand out.
Both types of events have their purpose and value in your networking strategy…but because of the comfort factor and maybe a little fear of the unknown, we tend to stick with our own crowds and go to our own industry events. We tend to not explore events for other industries.
I know it’s counter intuitive, but as a tech professional at a marketing event, it’s much easier to differentiate yourself, because … you’re the only one like you in the room.
How many other-industry events have you crashed?
Blog partner Phil Rosenberg is President of reCareered, a career coaching service and website. Phil runs the Career Change Central group, one of Linkedin’s largest groups for job seekers. An active blogger about social media and career change, Phil has articles that have been republished by Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, AOL, FastCompany, CIO, ZDnet, The Examiner, and the leading job/career/recruiting sites. Phil can be contacted at phil.reCareered@gmail.com.