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The Networking Process

The Networking Process

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Published by: Jorge Humberto Fernandes on Aug 10, 2010
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The Networking Process

You should use networking for several purposes. First, networking enables you to obtain information about an area, function, division, or group in which you are interested but are unsure whether, or how, you might fit in. Obtaining advice from or brainstorming with a respected and knowledgeable individual about your next job move is another networking goal. Finally, networking lets others know of your availability and enlists their help in referring you to potential hiring managers when they learn of opportunities.

Networking Dos and Don’ts
· Do your homework before you meet with a contact and ask questions. Research his or her area, function, or product through internal brochures, the Internet, business periodicals, or others whom you know. · Do meet with your contact in person, especially if you do not already know the person. Telephone “meetings” are seldom productive. · Do prepare an agenda in advance-know why you’re meeting with this person, how he or she can help you, and what advice you seek. Prepare your thoughts, ideas, and questions. Give a brief overview (your tow-minute pitch) of your background and career goals. · Do educate your contacts to work for you by explaining what you do, what you are looking for, and how they can help you. Be specific and concise. · Do keep expanding your network. Ask each contact for an additional name or two of someone else with whom you could talk: “Can you suggest anyone else I might talk to about this?” · Do try to reciprocate as often as possible. Try to give as much as you receive from your network. The more people you help, the more will help you. · Do practice before you begin. Review how you are going to present yourself. Role-play with someone you trust or a friend familiar with the firm in which you’re interested. · Do keep the door open for follow-up with your contact. · Do view the networking process as one that will provide a safe climate in which you can try out your ideas before you risk them in a job interview.

· Don’t ask for a job. Don’t expect your network to function as a placement office. · Don’t ask someone to send your resume around. · Don’t expect too much too soon. It can take time for network “seeds” to grow. · Don’t assume others know your background, even if they know you well. · Don’t break confidentiality regarding the activities of your current organization. · Don’t give the impression that you’re looking for “any old job” by not having a focus or being all things to all people. · Don’t be discouraged if someone brushes you off. Do not take it personally-it will happen in very fast-paced environments. Try someone else. · Don’t bend the truth. If your position is in the process of being downsized, say so. Work with a career counselor to develop, as part of your pitch, the reason why you are looking for a new position. Do not pretend you’re doing idle research. · Don’t forget to send a thank-you note to your contact if he or she was helpful. · Don’t forget to inform anyone who gives you a lead about the outcome. · Don’t arrange meetings only at your convenience or disregard your contact’s preferences and schedule.

Contact List “Memory Jogger”
The Workplace The following contact checklist will help you think of people you know or may have forgotten about. You should try to constantly expand and revise your list of contacts. ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Your current manager Your human resource manager Former managers Coworkers and former coworkers Social acquaintances (sports, PTA, social and business clubs, church, and so on) who also work with you Fellow college or professional-school alumni who work with you Business acquaintances (review your address book) Fellow professionals in your field (see membership lists) Members of your professional societies People you’ve met at conventions Speakers at meetings you’ve attended Trade-association executives Chamber of Commerce Outside the Workplace ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Manager of the branch where you bank Friends Social acquaintances Classmates and fellow alumni Service professionals: doctors, dentists, opticians, therapists, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, insurance agents, brokers, travel agents, hairdressers, bartenders Politicians: local, state, and national office holders; political party members Teachers: your college professors; your children’s teachers Relatives

Adapted from: WHY SHOULD EXTROVERTS MAKE ALL THE MONEY? By Frederica Balzano

Career Development Center White Activities Center 630.637.5141 career.development@noctrl.edu www.northcentralcollege.edu/career

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