Career Networking Tips for Beginners – How to Make the Most of Your Career Networking Opportunities

Are you just out of college, or have you been working for a little while but haven’t quite found your career niche yet? If so, then you’re probably no stranger to the Career Fairs or other networking events that everyone always seems to be talking up. Are they worth it? Should you keep at it? What should you do at these events to help make a stronger impression? Read on for helpful advice from someone who’s been there, done that…

Career Networking Tips for Beginners

1) Get clear on what you’re looking for. What kind of job or opportunity do you want? Keep it short and sweet so you can communicate it easily. Practice that as your “elevator speech” for meeting new potential employers or future colleagues.

2) Tell everyone you’re looking. This includes friends, family, fellow students – even professors. You never know who might know someone in the field you’re interested in. Keep your resume updated and your business card handy if you have one, so that when an opportunity arises you can easily pass this information along.

3) Don’t be shy – ask for the referral. People are usually happy to help – and the worst they can say is no. Remember… nothing ventured, nothing gained. Ask for that letter of recommendation or testimonial. Have a list of names handy to write in the “referrals” spot of your job applications – and be sure to keep their phone numbers and email addresses up to date and on file.

4) Follow up. If someone refers you to someone who lands you paid work, a temp gig or especially a full-time job, don’t forget to thank the referrer with a hand-written note of appreciation. Keep them in mind as someone whom you may want to do something nice for in the future.

5) Most importantly, be yourself. You want a job that suits your style, personality, and unique skill set… right? The best way to find one is to just put it out there and see what comes back.

Copyright 2007 Hallie Crawford and Authentically Speaking. All rights reserved.

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