Do’s and Don’ts: Networking

Networking is the art of building alliances, and it starts long before a job search. In fact, you probably don't even realize you are doing it:
  • It's NOT contacting everyone you know and asking if they know of any job openings.
  • It’s NOT making cold-calls to people you don't know.
  • It's talking to people you do know or asking them to introduce you to others.

Review these Networking Do’s and Don’ts from New Grad Life:

DON’T Think They Don’t Know Anyone
We live in a networked age and most of us are connected to more people than we realize. Take 10 minutes to write a list of work colleagues (past and present), industry contacts, friends, family, college alumni, professors, and social acquaintances. Use social and professional networking sites to reach out to friends and colleagues.

DO Sell Yourself
Networking is about selling your skills while not sounding like a salesperson. One way to show (rather than tell) people how great you are is to have a few 'STAR' stories up your sleeve. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Achievements and Results. This is an easy way to tell a concise story that lets your talents and achievements speak for themselves. The story should take no more than five minutes to relate and should include enough detail to pique your contact's interest without overwhelming him or her.

DON’T Forget to Say “Thank You”
Good manners are critical for networking. Always thank a contact for their time and advice, either in a handwritten note or a follow-up email. Keep in touch with them and let them know when you secure a job. This will help you to maintain the person as a contact in your network — and allow you to return the favor when they're looking for a job down the road.

Always look for ways to network with someone new. So many times simply “knowing someone” opens up the doors of opportunity.

Author: Audra Perry

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