Students often ask how they can be memorable when they are networking. They want the employers to remember them as individuals with unique skills and experience. I find I often rely on advice given to me early in my career – you need to be interested to be interesting.
It is so easy in a networking to put the focus on yourself. Students are eager to share their experience, their career goals and why they are pursuing an MBA. While all these things are important if this is how you start you are not likely to be remembered.
Focus your preparation prior to the event or meeting on the person you will be meeting. Learn something about their company, their current role and their experience to date. Prepare relevant questions to get the conversation started. Asking about them and their career is a great way to start the conversation. Practice good active listening skills to demonstrate your interest. Ask relevant follow up questions. When it is your turn to talk about yourself, keep what you have just learned in perspective.
Once you have demonstrated your interest in the person, their company and their career, it is much easier to make yourself interesting and remembered. Don’t follow the herd and put yourself first. Be sincerely interested in the other person. It will significantly increase the odds that you will be remembered as an interesting individual.