Most people know the value of networking – but being to able to confront potentially awkward social situations to reap the rewards of networking can seem too daunting for many…
Rather than miss opportunities, here’s some guidelines and tips:
- Networking is not about asking for a job, it’s about building relationships that could be mutually beneficial in the future
- Do some research first – we talk about research a lot, but it really is the best way to build rapport and get the most out of the experience
- Think about what your networking objectives are – Do you want to build contacts? Find out about career paths? Learn about the organisation? Have a clear idea of what you want so you can confidently guide the chat
- Remember the reps you’ll have the opportunity to meet are just people – be friendly and listen to their story, everyone will have something unique to share
- Be mindful of their time, thank them and if you like – ask if you can follow up (we’ll give you more tips on this soon!)
Here are some questions you could use to break the ice (remember, think about what you’d actually like to know and what’s going to help you get closer to where you want to be):
- How do you spend a typical work day/week?
- What kinds of problems do you deal with?
- What are your major responsibilities?
- What do you find most/least satisfying about your job?
- What is the competition for jobs like in this career?
- What would you look for in a new applicant for the work?
- Is there a typical career pattern for new graduates in this field?
- Which parts of this field are expanding and likely to offer opportunities in the future?