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Approcher une entreprise en réseautage - Entrevue avec Rhodie Lamour



You will find bellow the english translation of the interview.


Q: How do you ensure a good first impression and stand out at a networking event?


A: Very good question and also very great concern. When we are going to network, when a professional needs to approach a company, the first part depends a lot on the offer we want to bring. In this career in which you may have just graduated or already have experience, it is important to determine what is the most I bring, what makes me a professional in this different industry, what can I offer and what is my added value? So in networking, often the moment is not that long. We only have 8 minutes in total to talk with each person, and the first contact is not within 8 minutes, it's visual. So we'd better introduce ourselves according to what we want to offer.


Q: What are the common "faux pas" to avoid in networking?


A: First of all, the first false step we observe is when we want to introduce ourselves too much. When you're going to say, "I can do this, I do this, I do that," it's as if all of a sudden the person has too many hats on. You can't target in which field the person is really excellent. That's a first mistake. You have to target what you want to offer in each networking. The other is also to not present yourself in accordance with what you are doing. For example, someone who works in the arts and who presents himself with a brooch or colours, or someone who says he works in a field like finance and insurance, that's a field where we are looking for seriousness and security. If the person came too artistic, it would not be as suitable. So we have to help the person who sees us to have a more or less idea of the industry, so when we have to talk about networking, the person will make a mental, visual match that will help us remember us.


Q: How is networking within the fashion industry different?


A: For the fashion industry, I always say that fashion is a very big family. Are we on the creative side? Are we on the distribution side? Are we on the corporate side of fashion? Are we in the forecasting business? It is absolutely necessary to determine which side of fashion we are working on. Or are we working like me in the timeless side of fashion, or are we working in the trend side? And also like influencers, bloggers, authors and everything else we have. So to say that I'm just in fashion and not focusing on what aspect of fashion might make the message a little confusing because you have to define where you are in all branches, in all areas.


Q: What advice would you give to students or young professionals working at a distance?


A: For students who are online and working in groups, what I recommend is discipline. Sometimes, when you're at home or when you're in a natural setting, you're not in the rigidity of certain university structures. We might have a tendency to let ourselves go, but discipline is what will help us. Stay focused on a plan, stay focused on the norms we set in the groups, don't leave their study group or work group to themselves. That's what's going to move us forward, and that's what's going to give character to what we're doing, no matter what the project is. We must not say to ourselves that if the project is worth so much, we are going to sacrifice so much time. No, the seriousness, the continuity, the planning. When we're online, we spend a lot more energy. We have to stay focused, we can't sit just any way, we can't have just any posture for example. We have to be well, have a nice smile, be attentive, and listen to several people at the same time often. So it requires a lot more from us. So the more serious we are about what we do and respect deadlines, we have a much better chance of succeeding as a group, even if we are separated.


Q: How do you think the pandemic will influence future corporate communication habits?


A: This question comes to me as an engineer because before being an image consultant, I was a telecommunications engineer. So when there was no pandemic, I was also selling telecommunications solutions and that was to educate companies to invest in remote solutions. This learning that we are all experiencing during this time is something that will remain. So now it's like a displacement that we're going to observe. People who weren't used to being online, they're still going to have it because it helps a lot. And also, in business, it helps to cut the cycle to go faster. Sometimes we can wait to see each other to make a decision when we could have had a meeting, and solve, and close a contract. So we're learning. And that's how I can say that probably after the pandemic we'll be in a mixed environment. We will have to choose when we will give our presence ourselves. We're going to choose where to be in presence, and where not to be in presence.


Q: Do you have any advice on how to expand your network of contacts?


A: While we're networking online or in person, it's very important to focus on the networking you want to do. The important thing is not to go to all the networks that exist, but to go to networks that go in the direction of our objectives, and also to stay on the client side. For example, if we want to have clients, professionals who need to have clients, they will need to network where their target clients go, and also they will need to network with their colleagues so that they are known in their environment as professionals in that environment. So to summarize, we will need to go into targeted networking to make the time productive. Now if we are online, it is important to use the tools we have at our disposal, participate in the session, ask questions, congratulate the presenter, congratulate the organizers, give your thank you note, write your website on the chat, offer yourself for collaboration, congratulate someone and ask others, participate in the break rooms, when we make separate rooms, take the opportunity to introduce yourself.


Q: How do you suggest we approach the issue of salary?


A: If you have already applied for a position, our profile is interesting. Before reaching the salary stage, there are absolutely other steps to follow. It's important to show interest in the company - does this company meet your values - and then afterwards, when you have this kind of exchange with the company representative, it's afterwards that we'll go and ask what the offer is for the position. But when you do it first, it doesn't show that you're interested in the company to collaborate, it just shows that you're looking for a source of input, so it's not as good. The company feels that the objective is just to come and earn a salary x. But when we are interested in the company, it can even allow us, when we get an offer, to negotiate the offer.


Q: Has the importance of the CV changed?


A: The resume continues to be very important. On the other hand, the person's values as well as their skills will also have increased in the research that the company will do. And LinkedIn is a good showcase, you can even download the resume, you can even put all your information on LinkedIn and organize it. If you don't know how to do it, there are professionals who offer this kind of service so that LinkedIn really is a tool to help you. It is when we use it well, when we put the information, the collaborations, what really fits with the career we want to project at that moment in case the professional has several hats, so we put all this information. We are looking for what we have achieved in relation to what we are looking for. It is this information that we need to potentiate, that we need to put forward so that the profile is on LinkedIn, the resume that we have, corresponds to what we are looking for. And that the company can also perceive it.


Q: One last piece of advice?


A: To improve their networking skills, I would like to remind everyone that each person has a specific, unique value that makes them authentic. Don't try to be anything else, don't try to be a dream, just be yourself, and also be sincere in networking to be able to say who you are, what you are looking for and how you can help someone. To add something else, if you are in a virtual or online networking, be concerned about listening to others much more than filling them with information, because it is by listening to the need that you will be able to detect how to offer your services or the person in what they are looking for.

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