Networking: 101 102

Welcome to the new CNSPY blog!

The Career Network is dedicated to helping students and postdocs find their niche in society. We accomplish this goal by providing many opportunities, both on and off campus, to meet with professionals in a wide variety of career avenues. However, once we facilitate a meeting, it’s up to you to turn the meet-and-greet into a useful connection that will lead to the next step in your career.

How do you do that? It’s called networking!

Networking is one of the most critical aspects of any job search – Despite our merits and accolades, sometimes it’s more about who you know, not what you know that gets you the job.

Equally importantly, it’s about who knows you! Recruiters sift through hundreds of resumes and CVs every day. Managing the sheer volume of applications is an arduous task in itself, and each one is merely a name on a piece of paper. However, if they see a name they recognize, a name they can put a face to, they’re more likely to pull that application to the front of the line – If that application happens to be yours, you’ve not only made their tedious job easier, you’ve gotten your foot in the door!

So what are the key aspects of networking?

  1. Attend events where professionals in your desired field will be present.
  2. Introduce yourself and share your interests.
  3. Ask questions and engage in light conversation.
  4. Get or exchange contact information.
  5. Follow-up at a later date to remind them who you are.

This is a basic, straightforward, tried-and-true formula… so it should work every time, right?  WRONG!!

We’ve all been in situations where networking has worked in our favor and other times when it hasn’t. Perhaps some opportunities were simply meant to be and others weren’t – we assume that whether or not a connection pans out is the result of things that are beyond our control because we followed all the basic Networking 101 guidelines that we’re all familiar with.

However, what about that person (and we all know someone…) whose every networking connection seems to lead to an amazing opportunity? Why do they always seem to pull ahead of the pack when everyone at the event had the same opportunity to meet people? Why are they so lucky?

Well… they’re probably not just “lucky.” They’re strategic. What you should be asking yourself is, “How do they do it?” and “What are they doing differently?”

The simple fact is that networking is a skill, and some people have truly mastered this skill. These people don’t just follow the basic steps; they strategize their every move to maximize the probability that, out of the 50 students the professional meets that night, they will be ones that stand out and get remembered.

The lesson? – Don’t just spend more time networking to land your dream job, spend your time networking smarter…

In this new blog series, we’ll help you improve your game with some Networking 102 tips to increase the chances that Mr. CEO of DreamJobX Inc. will remember YOU after that busy cocktail hour.

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