Vietnam students have heard from one of the country’s business and
industry association leaders on how to get the most out of networking.

At a workshop during the University’s Career Week in Hanoi, country
manager for global relocation and storage provider Allied Pickfords and
former AusCham vice-president, David Whitehead, told students networking
is not a party but a chance to build business contacts and look for
mutually beneficial business opportunities.

“When you’re at a networking event, you should focus on building your
own ‘positive exposure’ by acting professionally and dressing
appropriately,” Mr Whitehead said.

“It’s a serious business occasion and you must remember people are watching you.

“It’s an opportunity for you to meet with people you wouldn’t see on a
regular basis and to identify mutual business interests,” he said.

“Research suitable networking events and spend some time preparing
yourself for so you have interesting things to say and will be

A successful networker, Mr Whitehead said, is aware of three simple
but effective techniques including an approachable smile, a solid
handshake as well as the right way to hand out a business card.

  • Smile: “Be happy when you approach someone at a networking event. Engage with them by looking them in the eyes when you talk.
  • A solid handshake: “A firm handshake is key when you meet
    someone for the first time. You also need to remember many networking
    events involve drinks and snacks so think about how you’ll balance
    everything when you need to shake someone’s hand”.
  • Business card etiquette: “When passing your business card to
    someone, you should hold it with two hands, have your details face-up
    and bow slightly. This technique shows respect for the person as well as
    respect for yourself. When receiving a business card, you should take a
    moment to review the contact information and use this as a conversation

Mr Whitehead told the students attending his workshop that they
should consider what they’ll talk about at a networking event and know
what not to talk about.

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