Friday, January 25, 2013

The Art of Networking for College Grads

How to really network for a job


Start out with a Positive Attitude - Walk through the door with confidence, having decided in advance that you will meet three new contacts and reconnect with established clients rather than spending most of the time talking with those you already know or just left at the office a few hours prior.

Snack before you arrive – The primary goal of any networking event is to make contacts and build relationships. While you certainly may partake from the buffet table, it is not your main focus. A networking event poses a valuable opportunity when searching for job leads.

Nametags Are Useful - Typically, the nametag is worn on the right side, below the shoulder. However, some companies prefer the nametag be worn on the left side if the company logo is embroidered on the right. At a networking event where you are not an “employee”, place your nametag on your right to follow the other person’s line of sight when shaking hands.

Stand-Up - Rising to greet someone shows respect for the person whom you are meeting or greeting. Both women and men must stand for a corporate introduction.

Introduce Yourself - Clearly state your first and last name as you extend your hand for a handshake. If you would prefer a shortened version of your name such as “Bob” or “Jim”, let the other person know by saying “Hello, my name is Robert Jones but I go by Bob”. Be cautious not to use a nickname that might appear juvenile such as “Skippy” or “LaLa”. Instead, choose “Melissa” over “Missy” and “John” over “Johnny” at a networking event.

Don’t Assume You May Give Another Person a Nickname - Some use this technique to appear cordial or familiar, but it is a dangerous assumption. Err on the side of caution and use an honorific until you are asked to do otherwise.

Introducing Another Person - A client takes precedence over a member of your own company, including the CEO. When making an introduction, always mention the client’s name first.

Forgetting Names - It is not uncommon to forget a person’s name, especially someone you have recently met. If you forget a person’s name, do not hesitate to be honest and say, “I’m sorry, I have just gone blank. Would you please remind me of your name?”

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