Making the Most of Networking

One of our goals this semester is to offer more opportunities for our students to make connections.  With that, we’re switching from one large job and internship fair to smaller, more industry-specific fairs throughout the year.  This will allow students to network more and see what options are available to them, while still being in the comfort zone of their major. As we’ve discussed many times in this blog, networking, no matter how small and relaxed, can still cause anxiety for students.  Don Goodman from Careerealism has some wonderful tips to share for networkers.

  1. Set a realistic goal.  If it’s a large networking event, don’t be determined to meet with every single person.  Use the “quality over quantity” logic and have more meaningful conversations with fewer people.
  2. Be approachable. Networking is a two-way conversation. Be aware of your body language when meeting with recruiters, and don’t be afraid to make small talk while eating hors d’oeuvres. Of course, always remember to smile!
  3. Maintain rapport. Making small talk can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be work-related.  Maintaining rapport is simply keeping the conversation going and learning more about each other as professionals.
  4. Relax! Let the conversation evolve naturally. Giving off a relaxed vibe will feed into the second tip of being approachable. Keep in mind that a networking event or job fair isn’t a competition- it’s an opportunity for you to find quality connections.

To read all of Mr. Goodmans’ article and read his tips in depth, click here: http://www.careerealism.com/networking-events-making-quality-connections/

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