Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Networking in a Nutshell

Two weeks ago (was it so long ago?)  I was delivering some sessions on networking as part of our Careers Fair in Carlisle.

The feedback we got on the sessions was pretty good, so here's a very brief summary of the key points that were covered:

  • To give yourself a start, prepare a stock phrase you can use to introduce yourself - ideally something memorable.
  • For formal events and one-off opportunities, consider an elevator pitch
  • Prepare a list of key questions you want to get answers to.
  • Think how you will end a contact and whether/how you will follow it up.
  • Use a mind map to help you identify useful people you already know.
  • People you meet will know other people who might be able to help.
  • Arrange information interviews with experts in the field that interests you.
  • Consider spontaeneous networking.  Some networking gurus keep contact details and make quick notes on everyone they meet!
  • Business cards are highly useful (and often free) and CVs are pretty much expected at Careers Fairs.
  • Social networking is vital - particularly LinkedIn
  • It's a mutual process - working out what other people want will give you big clues about what you need to do.
Initially nerves are natural when meeting new people but basically networking is something we do all the time.  If you get the approach right, it becomes easy.

P.s. If you are a University of Cumbria student or graduate and would like to attend a group session on networking, please email us at careers@cumbria.ac.uk 

No comments: