Golden Rules for Networking

Best results are often achieved well before you need a job, by consistently networking so that when you find yourself job-hunting you have a large network to work with. – Erik Qualman

Say you meet someone interesting at an event. They find you interesting as well and invite you to come by their offices once, or lunch, to have a chat about your life. This is not a date we are talking about. Rather, you have just successfully networked. One thing: how are you going to shine at that next meeting?

Thanks to Imperial College’s Business School we can now provide you with a short list of Golden Rules that will help you sail through that next meeting – and it won’t solely be based on your winning smile.

  1. Start with someone who is happy to give you 30 minutes or more of their time. This means they are interested in talking to you because they are interested in you personally.
  2. Make sure this is not ‘just’ about finding a job. You are networking, meaning that you are building contacts with interesting people, not telling them why they ought to hire you.
  3. Leave them with a Profile of you, not a CV. Perhaps a list of your interests and ambitions and of course your contact details. This should not be more than a page and serves more as a memory jogger for him or her, not something they will use professionally.
  4. Ensure that you also have other people you can contact, maybe two more, so that if one person cannot make it, you still have someone else to call. That way you are sure to be successful in making a connection.
  5. After your meeting, make sure to send a Thank You note. This is just not about politeness, but may also result in him or her giving you someone else to contact. This is a more considered response, because they have now met you, so it will probably be an even better lead.
  6. Keep notes of any meeting you have, including something particular or personal to remember them by. If they call you in a few weeks time, you have something to jog your memory and you might be able to ask them about, e.g. their new car, or how their kid is doing. This shows that you are also interested in him or her as a person and not just looking to get a well-paid job.
  7. Find reasons to keep in touch with your contact, e.g. by sending them interesting articles or an update on how you are doing.

For more advice, check out our page


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