…It’s a SUPER Networker!!
Ever wonder what it takes to be a “super networker”? Well, you’re in luck – here are seven key habits of the best networkers around. Think about adopting some of these practices when considering your next steps on the career path.
1. Ask insightful questions
If you do your research and ask the right kinds of questions, you could make a great impression at your next one-on-one lunch meeting
2. Add value
Adding substance to connections early on can be a useful way to solidify the contact – connect contacts with each other as well as to yourself
3. Learn their “story”
Asking a contact about their path to where they are now can not only connect you to them in a valuable way and show your own insight, it can also provide you with valuable information about your own potential career and give you a look at what working with this person might be like.
4. Share a memorable fact
Use personal details – they stick. When asked an open-ended question, seize the moment and give them an answer that truly speaks to who you are and your unique drive. They won’t forget it.
5. Keep a list
After a good bought of networking, be sure to write the contact information, opportunities, and events you learned of.
6. Make small promises – and keep them.
Whether sending an email or following up with a phone call, even small promises can reflect positively (or negatively) on your character. Be sure to follow through!
7. Reward your “power” contacts
Make sure to maintain your most important contacts with small meetings, connecting them to other contacts of yours, or just sending a message their way – on a weekly basis. These people will be very important for your network foundation, so maintain that connection!
For a closer look, see the article.
“It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.”
We’ve all heard this before, but how do we turn this slightly obscure piece of hearsay into tangible career-related results? Network.
LinkedIn suggests you start with your “real world network,” or those people “you know and trust” as a foundation for your network online (more info). Think about this when you head home for Thanksgiving – try to seek out the contacts you already have and begin to build, or strengthen your connections. Whether chatting with a family member over turkey and stuffing, or having coffee with a mentor or family friend you had in high school, these contacts may become a key part in your career search now and in the future. It’s important as we consider life after college to start thinking of these people in our lives as professionals – if we do, the feeling may become mutual!
Feeling lost? See this video for how to go about networking in person first, and then online: http://learn.linkedin.com/students/step-4/
Twenty-three of you showed up for our LinkedIn workshop this afternoon. Yay!
In case you didn’t make it to the workshop, check out these top three tips from Tim and Tracy on how to build a great student LinkedIn profile:
1. Craft an informative profile headline
Your profile headline gives people a short, memorable way to understand who you are in a professional context. Think of the headline as the slogan for your professional brand, such as “Student, National University” or “Recent honors grad seeking marketing position.” Check out the profiles of students and recent alums you admire for ideas and inspiration.
2. Pick an appropriate photo
LinkedIn is not Facebook. If you choose to post a photograph — and we recommend that you do — select a professional, high-quality headshot of you alone. That means no party photos, cartoon avatars, or cute pics of your puppy.
3. Show off your education
Include information about all institutions you’ve attended. Include your major and minor if you have one, as well as highlights of your activities. It’s also appropriate to include study abroad programs and summer institutes. Don’t be shy — your LinkedIn profile is an appropriate place to show off your strong GPA and any honors or awards you’ve won.
Still want to learn more? Mark your calendars for the next LinkedIn workshop on Nov. 5th.
“It’s the presumption that building relationships in a professional context is like flossing,” writes Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn. “You’re told it’s important, but it’s no fun.” In his new book, The Start-up of You, Hoffman reminds us that with the right attitude, networking and the job search in general, can, in fact, be an adventurous process,
Check out this article for more job search tips from Hoffman.
How do you think you’re coming across to MiddNet volunteers? You might be less suave than you think you are. If taking a call from a networking contact or a potential employee in the Proctor booth room has ever occurred to you as a not-so-bad idea, think again and read on my friends.
Just last week, Career Services received the following eye-opening feedback from a graduate. There are some revealing messages here about networking: pay attention to the details, follow through on commitments, differentiate yourself from other candidates, and just be considerate. Here’s an important “heads up” from a MiddNet alum:
Over the past five months, I have been contacted by seven current Middlebury students seeking career guidance. Of those seven:
· One called me by the wrong name and asked me to funnel him through to get a job
· One scheduled a call to discuss my firm, which she took in the dining hall before realizing she could not hear me and then walked across campus talking to people she ran into along the way
· Two scheduled calls, which I thought were helpful and productive, though I never heard back from either of them with any type of thank you or acknowledgment for my taking the time to speak
· Three never responded to my reply to their initial request for guidance
These behaviors are disrespectful of alumni and they are a poor representation of the College. Middlebury has been a respected brand, known for its strong community, and I want that to continue.
I have also interacted with students at other schools (particularly in the Ivy League) with similar results. If it is a systemic issue, then I think there is a true opportunity to extend the learning environment beyond the classroom and help Middlebury students differentiate through accountability and professionalism not just today, but throughout their careers.
-Recently received from alum at top-tier consulting firm.
Well, this is downright embarrassing. Believe us, we are blushing and looking down at our shoes on your behalf (especially you, #2, although congrats on being so popular around campus). Avoiding these faux pas might seem like common sense, but we are willing to bet that the students in the scenarios above are probably generally clever, thoughtful folks who are not usually so unscrupulous. The post-grad job search can be an intimidating, stressful, and at times awkward experience, which can make normally level-headed people do not-so-wise things. Here are some tips for remaining tactful as you network on MiddNet and elsewhere:
1) On remembering names: Do not, as I have been prone to do, assume that every man above a certain age who works in finance is named Steve. This very, very untrue. There are plenty of Roberts and Kenneths even the occasional Scott these days. Before sending an email, having a phone conversation, or meeting in person with a networking contact make sure to double-check who you’re meeting with and what position s/he holds within the company. And keep your scruples about you; never ask to be “funneled through” for a job, especially if you literally have no idea who you are talking to.
2) Plan ahead: find a quiet and secluded location to take your telephone call. Set aside a few minutes before the call to mentally prepare your talking points and questions for the kind soul who is taking the time out of his/her busy day to talk with you and answer your questions.
Suggestions for where to take a “professional” telephone call:
-Your empty room. Alone. Sans background noise.
-An empty classroom/study room.
Remember that your networking contact is doing you a favor by talking with you, not the other way around. We’re not saying you’re not awesome and it’s not great that your team is going to NESCACs next week and your thesis on feminist artists in Lisbon is not fascinating. Maybe just talk a little less about your awesome self and focus on what your contact is saying. And maybe don’t invite your networking contact to your a cappella group’s next concert in the Abernathy room. If you’re so worried about pushing ahead with your talking points, you could miss out on something important and also come off as insufferably pompous and self-absorbed. Also, for those of us with more severe phone phobia, it helps to write out questions and comments you might have, and maybe even little notes of encouragement in the margin (Way 2 Go, Sport! Buck up, little camper!)
3) If someone takes the time to reply to your query, say thank you! You always have time to send a quick, sincere thank-you, even if you are no longer pursuing the networking relationship. Nobody likes to feel as if they wasted their time by helping you out
Consider yourselves scolded. We still love you. We just want the best for you, so just don’t let this happen again, okay?
Happy (job) hunting!
Dear Soon To Be College Graduates,
The ongoing recession has taken its toll on upcoming job opportunities as well, and companies are not as inclined to hire as they used to be.
Here are a few pointers to help you compensate for these “recessionary changes”:
Network, network, network! – it still pays (literally as well!) to know someone high up in a company you are interested in.
Do not overlook internships! Even though they may not be the best source of financial income, they are a great way to get your foot in the door of a company you would like to work with.
Grades do matter- so don’t slack!
Last but not least, patience is a definite requirement. Hard work and proactive job seekers will be successful during these times that require more endurance.
Source: Economy Affecting College Graduates? Jobs 4 Grads Now.
Whether at home for the holidays or traveling somewhere new over the break, never underestimate the power of talking to people and making connections!
Before having a conversation with anyone about your career, whether you call it networking or informational interviewing, think about and identify 3 skills you enjoy using and can provide examples of.
Then, prepare good questions to ask, such as:
• What are the entry-level positions in your field that require the skills that I have
• What other types of positions and organizations might I consider where I can use
these types of skills and interests?
• What does the job market look like in this field and geographic area?
• What’s the best way to navigate this search process in this industry?
• Who else should I be speaking to in gathering information about ways to enter
Always follow up with a contact by sending a thank you note.
for more tips on language to use in networking letters and thank you notes, trouble shooting, and follow up.