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6 Job Networking Tips for New Grads

6 Job Networking Tips for New Grads

March 02, 2010

2. Show interest in the person you are talking to

Like everyone else, a company’s representative will respond well to sincerity and will open up as job seekers ask them questions. Most people are happy to talk about themselves (what they do for a living, how they got involved with the company, etc.) so college grads should show some genuine interest in the person with whom they are speaking.

3. Make an “elevator speech”

It is necessary to create a brief 30-second speech in order to project a personal brand that sets you apart from other recent graduates seeking employment. If you haven’t had a corporate job yet, it will be hard to come up with a title for yourself, so focus on your skills and recent experience.

4. Formulate your goals

It is very important for entry-level job seekers to know the field and industry they want to get into. A good formula for articulating one’s career goals is to state the position you are looking for, your applicable skills, and what qualities you look for in a company. For example: “I want to obtain a marketing coordinator position where I can utilize my creativity and communication skills in a growing company that offers performance-based advancement.”

5. Don’t ask for a job

The ultimate goal of the job networking event for a recent college graduate may be to get a job, but they should never flat-out ask someone they just met for one. Instead, asking questions about the employer, showing knowledge about the industry and company, and talking about personal skills and qualifications will yield the best results. After this is done, a good way to inquire about jobs is to ask for advice on how to break into the industry. Most people will be kind enough to give the job seeker some insightful advice. Lastly, it is absolutely crucial to ask for referrals as well. If the company representative likes you, they may even suggest that they act as your referral for that particular company.

6. Networking is a two-way street

Job seekers who research prospective companies not only find out about company weaknesses but also discover what opportunities they are failing to realize. If a company is not heavily involved with social media, needs a fresh idea to reach a new target market, or has other problems, you should think of some solutions to offer during the networking event. Giving free advice to employers not only solidifies your image as a strong job applicant, but it makes you look less like someone who is just out to get a job without bothering to help out others in return.

Ready to network? Find out if your handshake can get you hired!