Career Networking at Summer Events

It was big news when President of Obama and House Speaker John Boehner discussed their differences on the debt ceiling during a Sunday golf game in 2011. But the setting is not unusual for business dealings. Getting your next job might mean picking up a 7-iron and donning sunglasses.

Networking opportunities abound during outdoor music events, golf outings, community art fairs, home improvement expos, and car shows wherever local business owners and industry professionals assemble, business card in hand, to pitch their services to potential clients. This is where every job seeker should be.

Outdoor events happen all summer, and volunteers are needed. Be ready to meet and deliver a 30-second elevator pitch to event sponsors and business employees. This is a great way to shake hands, gather business cards and discuss your employment skills. Be sure to bring your resume business card and wear appropriate event attire; it is not necessary to dress for an interview.

Savvy job seekers can meet their next employer while sitting at the registration table. Many business deals take place during golf tee time; this is the perfect time to network. The clubhouse or group dining area is an excellent place to exchange business cards, many business owners not interested in the event happenings will congregate near the refreshments area.

Do your research before volunteering, learn about the mission/purpose of the event, and gather information about participating bands, artists, sponsors and participating businesses. If you are attending a golf event, catch the evening sports highlights or read up on the top players. To avoid embarrassment, it’s essential to become savvy with golf jargon, even if you don’t play. Doing your research before attending the event can provide a great opportunity to bond and build rapport with people from different walks of life.

You can demonstrate several employment skills at a four-hour event than in a 30-minute interview. Volunteering reveals how you handle good bounces, bad breaks, and challenging situations that expose our actual characters. With a little creative thinking use volunteering as a job search tool and find it an enjoyable and profitable opportunity.

Good Luck, Happy Job Hunting! CJ Eason is The Job Doctor. She is a recruiter, resume repair expert, and director of community outreach for JobFairGiant.com. Email jobdoctor@jobfairgiant.com.

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