What do you think of when you hear the word “networking”? Do you think of people dressed in power suits holding martinis? Or some sleazy guy with greased hair handing out business cards like Halloween candy? Forget those things. During your job search, (and even if you have a steady job) networking should be one of your favorite words.
Two things I have noticed with many students are that: 1) students are scared to network and 2) people don’t know how to network.
Networking is not about working a room at a conference or acquiring business cards. It’s not about asking someone for a job
It’s about making connections. I know that sounds cheesy. Connections don’t mean lifelong friendships. These connections are also not just people you talk to once and then forget about. These connections can be people you ask advice from. They can provide you with information about a career. Or they can be people who can mentor you.
The big secret about networking is that people want to help you.
These videos provide a good introduction on how to properly network.
- Networking 101: University of Southern California Annenberg School- This is a good introduction video. I like how the host compares networking to a high school student calling you up to ask about your college. People are the same way with their careers. They love to talk about them.
- Job Search Networking Mistakes– This clip tells you what not to do. Don’t be a self-interested, card-distributing machine. It’s cliche, but be yourself.
- 8 Networking Tips Without Being a Fakey-Pants- These are eight fantastic, personal suggestions.
Now, put those networking skills to good use at the COM networking reception.