What is networking?
- A proactive approach of developing relationships with people face-to-face who can give you advice, information and referrals.
- To broadcast your availability in the job market and gain access to the positions that are not advertised or at times even created.
- About developing relationships where you are giving as well as receiving.
- The process takes time.
Networking is not … Asking for a job or opening
The most important thing to realize is when you speak with a networking contact you are NOT asking them for a job. You are asking them for advice, information, feedback, and referrals.
If you were to start a conversation with, “Do you know of any openings?” chances are that the answer will be “no”, and the conversation will be over. If you start a conversation with, “_________ (name of person who suggested you contact the individual) suggested that I contact you. She said you are a great resource regarding the ________ industry. I am researching potential internship paths and would like to meet with you for 20 minutes to gain more insight in the ___________ field.” Chances are that a dialogue will be started!
If the person you are speaking with knows of any openings and thinks you might be a good fit, they will tell you.
How to Network
First, consider networking with people you are most comfortable with including professors, friends, employers, family members, and people you connect with on LinkedIn.
Request a 20 minute networking meeting. Start your telephone call with phrases such as “This is Penny Manor from Pine Manor College. Jane Smith suggested I contact you. Is this a convenient time?” Your goal is not to have the meeting over the telephone – your first goal is to get a meeting set up at the contact’s place of employment and you need to be Very flexible to meet them when they are available. Adapt to their schedule as they are helping you. Being pleasant and confident in your tone of voice is essential, so practice your calls.
Research each individual with whom you are networking and the organization where they work. Do this prior to your meeting in order to be informed.
Be articulate and concise when introducing yourself and then ask relevant questions (See 30 second commercial).
Send a thank you letter within 24 hours.
The 30 Second Commercial
Tight, Focused, Memorable, Passionate!
My name is __________________
I am a student at Pine Manor College studying ______________
Areas of Knowledge/Responsibility
My experience as a (n) ________________ at ________________
developed my knowledge and skills in ______________and ______________
I am researching potential internship paths, including _________________ and ____________________
What to Say Next (depending on the audience, choose from the following)
- When _________ company is hiring interns, what specifically do they look for in a student?
- I am targeting the _____________ industry and would appreciate your advice and insight as to how to make connections.
- My goal is to work as a _______________ or _______________ and I am interested in learning more about what skills and characteristics are essential for success.
- I realize your organization may not be hiring, but are you aware of any competitors who are hiring?
- Is there anyone else you could refer me to who may be of assistance to me in my search for an internship? May I use your name when I contact them?
- Thank you very much for your guidance. I will keep you informed of my progress. Is there anything I can do for you?
Networking Thank You Letter
400 Heath Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
June 1, 2013
Ms. Julia Waters
Powerful Investments, Inc.
3619 Main Street
Boston, MA 02111
Dear Ms. Waters:
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday and providing me with information that has proven to be valuable in my internship search efforts. As a result of your leads, I have arranged two meetings, one with the Sales Manager at ABC Financial and the other with the Vice President of Superior Insurance Agency.
I found your perspectives on the financial services industry to be very informative. In addition, the questions you asked me will help me to think through the specific type of work and internship I desire.
Above all, I appreciate the personal support you have shown me. I will certainly keep you posted on the progress of my search. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Thank you.