In my day job as recruiter/career coach, I often am asked to speak at our local university (U of Colorado – Boulder) on job search skills for soon to be graduates. In preparing for my talk on networking tips, I decided that the advice is really quite universal and may be of interest to the All Things Girl readers.
Advice on Networking for the New College Graduate
· Networking isn’t about bothering people. People naturally want to help.
· Networking is a two way deal. Think of ways that you can help others as well. Call it good karma, the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or what goes around comes around – it all means you get back what you put out.
· Make the most of internships. Get to know as many people as possible in the company. Make sure they know when you graduate, and what you are looking for. If the company has an in-house recruiter, be sure that individual knows as well, as they are the ones who can help you learn of full-time opportunities
· Think of your friends on campus and organizations that you belong to. Here’s an example: Say a brother/sister in your fraternity or sorority is a finance major, and the company that you’re interning at posted an entry-level finance position. Would you think to refer your friend? If the tables were turned, would that friend now to think of you?
· Your family can be a network? Where do your parents, brother’s/sister’s cousins, heck your next door neighbor back home – where do they work and who do they know?
· Be open to talking to strangers as much as it doesn’t pain you. Pretend that you’re in sales and your skill set is the commodity that you’re selling.
· Everyone is someone to potentially network with – professors, advisors, co-workers at internships or any kind of job, family, friends…everyone!