It’s hard enough to manage a cocktail and a meatball at reception. If your networking goals are to meet new people, to maximize your contacts, and to appear coordinated and sophisticated, carrying a resume will require either a third hand or a personal assistant.
There is another way: Google Docs
The very helpful Essay Expert Brenda Bernstein recommends posting a resume to Google Docs and linking it to other online sites, and she links to simply blog’s directions for how to do it. She is correct.
Google Docs at Public Events
With a resume on Google Docs, you can reinforce your public networking contacts, making connections that are smart, sophisticated, and meaningful. When introduced to someone whose career path might be interesting to you, you can drive the conversation over a cliff or onto the right track.
OVER A CLIFF: “Howdy. I know that you are a contracts administrator. Can you tell me everything you know about it now?” The person in front of you is not likely to want to talk to a stranger for 20 minutes. He may want to poke you in the eye with his meatball, and, fearing your persistence, may run for the door.
THE RIGHT TRACK: “Hi, I understand that you are a contracts administrator. I have done some research on that field and I have a few questions for you. May we trade business cards so that I might call you next week to set up a meeting?” The person in front of you has time to eat the meatball and reach into his pocket for a business card. Handshakes. Smiles. Done.
THE BIG PAYOFF: Don’t delay in cementing your connections. Before you go home, sit down with the business cards that you have collected and send short emails to the people you have met. “It was a pleasure to meet with you this evening. Thank you for agreeing to speak with me about contracts administration. I will call you next week to set up a short meeting.” Attach your resume from Google Docs. Hit “send.” Go home.