IRL: 4 Face-to-Face Networking Opportunities You’re Missing Out On

Real World NetworkingJob seekers today spend a lot of time online, and for good reason. After all, the Internet is a great tool for job seekers to research, connect, and network with practically any company on the planet. With the click of a mouse, you can send your resume, cover letter, and top ten list of reasons why you are the best employee to just about anyone.

With this outrageously convenient job search tool, it’s easy to forget about job searching in the real world. You know, hard copy resumes, business cards, and handshakes — the old-fashioned stuff.

If you’ve neglected offline job search practices, you’re missing out on a lot of great opportunities that could give you your next big break. Check out these four face-to-face networking opportunities that you might be missing out on:

Explore a job fair

You might not walk away from a job fair with a job in your pocket, but you will leave with a few business cards! Job fairs offer dozens of opportunities to learn about and network with different companies. To make the most of your time at a job fair, go in with an open mind and spend time at all (or most) tables. Think of it as speed interviewing…like speed dating.  Learn what you can about the company, present yourself well, and get a real date…er…interview.

Join a club

Whatever you do, want to do, or never want to do again, there is a group of people who share your thoughts (whatever they might be). Join them! Do some Google research on local clubs, associations, or groups in your area that interest you. While industry-relevant groups are by far the most helpful, any organization can give your network a boost.

Let’s do lunch

Lunch is an important meal of the day and shouldn’t be squandered on a PB&J alone. Meet up with your friends, networking contacts, or mentor for some nosh and networking. Lunch is a great way to land a hard-to-get informational interview with that important somebody from your favorite company. After all, everybody’s gotta eat, right?

Attend an event

Last but not least, attending an event is an excellent networking opportunity that simply cannot be accomplished in the same way online. Whether it’s a small coffee hour or a large conference, any event can get you several degrees closer to your job of choice (or maybe even Kevin Bacon).

What do you think? What other offline networking opportunities should job seekers take advantage of? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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