Job hunting at your class reunion!

We recently read an article that made a lot of sense for someone trying to decide whether or not to go to a class reunion, particularly if networking would help you right now. Networking to find a job, that is. And we know there are lots of folks in that situation. So, as improbably as it sounds, job hunting is a perfectly valid reason to go to your class reunion!

These ideas are extracted and summarized from an article in the Detroit Free Press by Patricia Montmurri with Sally Schmall of the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

Bring business cards.
Employed or not, business cards ensure people have your contact info...just in case they know of jobs available.

Pitch yourself in two minutes or less.
Describe what you do, what you want to do, where you've worked and highlight your skills.

Ditch the old clique.
Take advantage of the room full of knowledge and opportunity from people you least expect.

Stay in touch.
Make a contact list and stay in touch.

Offer to help others.
Ask old classmates how you can help them.

Watch your drinking.
'nuf said.

10 Tips for Holiday Networking

1. IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES – Every holiday event you attend is an opportunity to meet new people. People are more inviting during the holidays and willing to share information. The more events you attend the greater your potential for developing new contacts.

2. QUALITY vs. QUANTITY - Know what you are looking for. The key is to identify quality prospects, not see how many business cards you can collect. Your best contact may not become a client but could provide you valuable alliances that will significantly grow your business.

3. MINGLE – Do not congregate with old friends or hang out at the buffet. Your goal is to meet NEW contacts.

4. LISTEN – You will learn more about people by listening than talking. Listening will provide you the keys to identify contacts and gain valuable information that will determine how you choose to develop a potential business relationship.

5. ASK QUESTIONS – This is always a key factor in networking. Asking the right questions will generate the information you need. Areas that generate networking potential are questions about their business, what services they provide, the biggest challenges they are facing and the best question of all is what would be a good referral for them. People are always interested in others who can benefit them.

6. REVISE YOUR PERSONAL INTRODUCTION – When asked what you do you have about six seconds to capture their attention and interest. Don’t use titles but instead state what you do and how it benefits people. For instance, stating you help people understand personal finance in this difficult economy would be an introduction for a financial advisor. Develop your own introduction with this in mind.

7. CARRY YOUR BUSINESS CARDS – This does not mean you pass out your business cards to everyone you meet. In fact, that would be a mistake. Be discriminate, only give your business card to someone that asks for it or someone that has stated they have a specific need that either you or someone you know can help them with. Use the back of your business card to write a brief note that serves as a reminder to them when they look at the card later.

8. GET CONTACT NUMBERS – It is critical to get contact information. Tell the individual you would like to follow-up with them and ask them for a business card. If they don’t have a card with them, ask them for their phone number or email address and write it on the back of one of your business cards.

9. DEVELOP A CONTACT LIST – Don’t wait to record the list of contacts you made at an event. Record all contact information and notes concerning the contact as soon as possible. Entering the information into your personal data base within 24 hrs is best.

10. FOLLOW-UP – Your networking efforts won’t reap maximum rewards unless you follow through on your initial meeting.

Information: The International Referral Network

Score Counseling

Monday November 23, 2009 from 10:00am - 2:00pm
Public Library of Charlotte - Mecklenberg County
310 N Tryon StCharlotte, North Carolina 28202 Get Directions SCORE provides free Individual Counseling Sessions to Business Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs at the Main Library every Tuesday and the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Appointments are recommended.

Taste of Apex - Fall Fesitval

Sunday November 22, 2009 from 2:00pm - 5:00pm

Apex Martial Arts

8715 Sidney CircleCharlotte, North Carolina 28269 Get Directions Our 2nd Annual Fall Festival will feature a sample of foods prepared by professional and amatuers chefs from our families and students. Chef Gene Briggs of Blue Restaurant & Bar and Chef Tim Groody of Market Street Catering will good head to head. Pie eating contest, Santa, games and pony rides are all available. No fee to enter, some food samples involve a small cost others are free.

A Barter Way To Grow -

Join the Charlotte Business Journal and Tony Holden, founder and CEO of Synergy StreetTRADE, as he presents A Barter Way to Grow. This free 90-minute seminar will show you how to use modern barter to find more customers, get more sales, save your cash and grow your profits.

Tony is a serial entrepreneur and thrives on working with and serving other entrepreneurs. He has been a principal in several highly successful entrepreneurial ventures including real estate development, residential and commercial mortgage brokerage, advertising an media, professional speaking, training and consulting and online commercial barter businesses. His corporate consulting clients have included Bank of America, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, CHASE, Countrywide Home Loans and many others; however he is quick to note that his real passion is working with grass roots entrepreneurial businesses.

Within the last three years he has successfully launched a Charlotte, NC-based marketplace community where entrepreneurs meet, exchange ideas and concepts and work in collaborative effort to build and proposer their businesses. This organization, SynergyStreet Executive Forum (formerly Cre8tive Synergy Group), became the incubator and genesis for the business model of SynergyStreetTRDADE.


Seminar : Friday, November 20, 2009 - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Charlotte Business Journal
1100 S. Tryon St, Ste. 100
Charlotte, NC 28203

Charlotte Networking Group Event

You are cordially invited to an evening of Networking...

Exchange information about career or business opportunities and have fun doing it!

Presented By Empowering Today's Professionals (ETP) Network and Gala Affairs By AtUrBest

Host: Amanda Sherman, CEO of Gala Affairs By AtUrBest
Location Sponsor: Weeping Willow Fellowship Hall
Location: 2220 Milton Road, Charlotte, NC 28215
Cost: Free
Date/Time: Thursday, November 19, 2009 , 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

* If you are looking for a position, business opportunities or eager to keep your career alive and well by continually staying abreast of what's happening, this is the meeting for you!

What you will gain from participation at this meeting:

* Increased exposure to other successful professionals
* New and helpful knowledge
* Learn how ETP Network is helping many people land jobs and business opportunities quicker.

You will be most effective at networking if you are prepared with the following:
1) Your "30-second introduction" and how you are a "solution" to someone's problems -
"How Can I help you?"
2) Business Cards

Networking is o your career as breathing is to living: you won't make it without either!