APA Convention: 4 Tips to Help You Prepare for Networking

SquareBy Valamere Mikler, APAGS Convention Committee

The APA Convention brings together hundreds of established psychologists, professionals and students to make meaningful connections, learn and grow. As you prepare for the upcoming convention, now is the time to start preparing.

Since the convention is fast approaching, take the opportunity to identify your goals and set an agenda to get the most out of your experience. Here are a few tips to help you connect and grow your network at the APA Convention, or any other professional setting for that matter:

  • Pump up your social media profile. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated with a professional headshot picture. Having your profile with the most-up-to-date information will ensure you can best promote your experience and accomplishments. Use Twitter or Facebook to follow and meet the speakers and workshop presenters before you attend. Also, as you meet people at the convention, you can tag them and make positive comments about workshops, discussions and the convention itself.
  • Update your CV or resume. Take advantage of sprucing up your CV or resume with current professional experience and research. The convention offers a space for you to distribute your CV or resume during the Career Fair hub, within the Exhibit hall. During this interactive experience, you will be able to engage potential employers and seek professional development opportunities.
  • Create business cards. Having business cards with your contact information may prove to be beneficial. Although, some people may prefer to enter information into their mobile devices, you should plan to have a business card available. Make sure to keep the design simple and professional with the essentials of your name, email address, phone number, and the name of your school and/or position. Sharing your business card will make a lasting impression.
  • Practice your “elevator pitch”. As you meet others while networking, you will be asked questions such as: who are you? what do you do? why are you attending the APA Convention? So, rehearsing your answers ahead of time will help you to prepare your thoughts. Going a step further, practice introducing yourself to people in the mirror. Be friendly and limit your introduction to a brief 30 seconds. Since presenters and others may be time-limited, there won’t be much of a chance to chat.

Attending the APA Convention is essential to staying in touch with current industry trends, networking, and getting face-to-face interaction that social media can’t replace. Therefore, if you are going to spend the money to attend, plan in advance to ensure you’ll get the most out of your time at the event.

See you there!

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Editor’s Note: Check out these previous posts about attending the 2017 APA Convention.

 

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