Networking tip: The importance of homework

The Offshore Technology Conference is huge, so take some time before you hit the floor to map your path. If you’re looking for a job, figure out where you want to go and who you want to meet.

Then spend some time doing research on the companies you’ve targeted.

The more homework you do, the easier it is to talk about the company, said Marsha Murray, president of Murray Resources in Houston, a recruiting and staffing firm that focuses on engineering, accounting, human resources, management and clerical.

Many company websites also include job openings. Study those listings in advance, recommends Murray. And bring copies of your resume, including information on how to reach you.

So let’s assume you’ve done your homework and found an interesting opening? What’s next?

The biggest mistake a job seeker can do, says Murray, is to try to turn the opportunity to meet and greet into a job interview.

It’s not, said Murray. It’s a time to introduce yourself and make a good impression.

“It’s not the time to bend someone’s ear on where you’ve been during the last 15 years,” she said.

But you can —and should —provide a resume and ask about how to follow up.

Check FuelFix daily during OTC for more networking tips from L. M. Sixel, whose weekly Working column appears in the Houston Chronicle.

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