Effective Networkers Always Respect:

  • Time: Don’t ask for too much or too little.  Mind the clock.
  • Referrals and Offers to Help: Show gratitude when employers offer to help.  Follow up promptly on referrals and keep the contact posted.
  • Confidentiality: Don’t attribute info to a contact w/out reflecting on whether the disclosure will compromise the person.
  • The Value of Gratitude: Communicate appreciation at the meeting.  Send a thank you e-mail.  Send a holiday or birthday card.
  • A Two Way Exchange: Share information that may be valued by your contact.
  • Keeping Contacts Informed: Keep your contacts updated on your progress throughout the job search.
  • Organization: Create a contact management system that works for you.

Tips for Re-Engaging Your Network

  • Always close a conversation with another suggested point of follow up
  • Jot down key points and interests of the contact so that you can follow up with relevant articles, ads, stories, books, etc
  • Schedule consistent checkpoints with your contacts to keep the network alive

Networking Tips for the Timid

Remember:

  • People enjoy helping others
  • Information and advice are free to give; jobs aren’t
  • People enjoy talking about themselves
  • People enjoy breaks in routine
  • A half hour is not too much time for most people to spare

Strategies

  • Begin networking with people whom you feel most comfortable – “Low Threat” contacts like family and close friends
  • Create a plan and stick to it
  • Practice what you say before you call; jot it down
  • Write down questions before the conversation
  • Contact people when your energy is highest

Mastering Art of Small Talk

What do I say?

  • Hot topics: sports, books, movies, food, museums, travel
  • Toxic topics: health, love life, gossip, politics, religion

The Opening Line

  • Be enthusiastic and welcoming

Keep Conversation Flowing

  • Orchestrate - don’t monopolize
  • Ask an “open-ended” question and listen to the response
  • Engage in two-way dialogue
  • Close: “Wow, that’s interesting.  It just so happens that what you do matches my career interests. Would you mind if I gave you a call next week to talk about your experience?”

The Ending – Be Positive!

  • Ask for a business card
  • Follow up!