Networking Your Way to that Next Job

As originally published 10/28 in the Ticker,

 By Jessica Zukhovich, Peer for Career

Networking can be a daunting term, especially for those who are new to the task. But building a network is essential in order to succeed in any career. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1.When meeting someone new, always make sure to give a firm handshake and keep direct eye contact. Body language has a huge impact on first impressions.

2. Introduce yourself and provide a background of our professional experiences and interests, but also ask questions and engage in a conversation. Try to make yourself memorable by finding common ground or differentiating yourself.

3. ALWAYS follow up. Send an email the next day thanking the individual for taking the time to speak with you, and suggest that you meet again over coffee, catch up over the phone, or just stay in touch.

Remember that networking is about building a relationship, so it takes time. Make sure to stay in contact with the people you network with; update them with relevant news in your life, ask related questions or for advice, and catch up in person every few months. These relationships will be extremely valuable when it comes to recruiting season and your overall career.

Finally, reading tips on networking is beneficial, but the only way to really master it is by actually doing it! Attend events hosted by the STARR Career Development Center, student clubs, and companies themselves. The more practice you get, the more comfortable you will become with networking and the faster you will land that next job!