Conferences can be goldmines for executives involved in a confidental job search. Here are 10 tips:
1. Do NOT ask about positions or do anything else close to looking for a job. Being paid to rep your company, you have to strictly observe your charge, loyalty to your company.
2. DO collect relationships lavishly - business cards from everyone - but, also, make an attempt to make a real connection so that you are memorable - use your brand "The strategic cloud computing expert with a business focus." Any non-work connections/interests will help you be memorable as well.
3. Offer to help new contacts in any way that you can - including connecting them with people you know to help them with their job transitions, if they ask about that.
4. When you get home, invite all the people on your business cards to connect on LinkedIn - also follow them on Twitter.
5. Email the ones you feel you can trust with knowing about your confidential search and ask for a couple of names of people to contact at companies for which you may want to work. Be specific about position - Senior Director of IT - and size of company and industry, so that your contacts can be most helpful to you. Offer to do the same for them, either now or at any time in the future.
6. Select a trusted group of LI connections whom you want to keep updated on your job search. Send an update from LI each week or two telling them about any interesting new meetings or developments in your job search - to keep you "top of mind."
7. For all your connections, including your new conference ones, do regular LI updates - weekly or biweekly - about any (non-job search) activity at your company, your professional pursuits, etc. - again, to keep you top of mind.
8. Join LI groups where key connections belong. That includes recruiters who place IT executives!!!
9. Leverage the new contacts you've made at the conference and send out regular newsletters or links to your blog posts to them. If you don't have either now, consider either or both. They are fantastic networking vehicles.
10. Keep your new contacts alive through occasional personal emails or quick phone calls.
Networking is still the best way to get a job. Make it part of your professional life no matter whether you are in job transition or not. Contacts from conferences - because you can meet so many face-to-face - can be especially valuable, if you use the techniques above. Good luck!
Image attribution: FHSMUN 34