Suggestions for Networking in the Everyday

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One obstacle we face as job seekers is that we forget that our ordinary encounters could be where we get that internship, job, or business lead. We find ourselves relying on formal job interviews, and planned specific events for networking avenues or potential employers. However, there are many instances outside of this formal process where we can make an impression on someone. Every day, we come into contact with a handful of people that can be potential job/networking leads. A few tips to consider:

  • Any chance at networking now may be helpful in the future.
  • Stay in touch with people you like and respect even if they cannot help you immediately.
  • One mistake commonly made by the eager job seeker is being pushy or instantly making the other person feel like nothing more than a business contact. Instead, we need to focus on building a relationship. Once people begin to know you they will be open to helping you, if they can.
  • Do not be afraid to strike up conversation with strangers. Talk to a wide range of people everywhere you go. You may meet someone who helps you get an interview at a cocktail party, plane ride, wedding, or even a sporting event.
  • Learn to ask “What do you do?” with comfort, sincerity, and interest.
  • Become a better listener. Ask a question and be quiet until you hear the answer.
  • Practice saying “How can I help you?” Networking is a give and take activity.
  • Pay attention to your body language. Don’t slouch or lose eye contact.
  • Do not forget thank you letters and e-mails acknowledging time spent together. They show sincerity and also keep you in their mind.

Networking should be taking place every day! 

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta, Managing Director of CareerShift, co-founded the company in 2005 to help individuals bridge the gap between education and employment.  As a recognized expert in the field, Val is a frequent speaker on career management, networking, and job hunting strategies.  You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.