One of my LinkedIn connections, Rich Grant, ponders the question, “Why do college seniors have a hard time networking?” In an outstanding article, Teaching Networking and Professionalism to College Students, he writes: “I’m not speaking out of line, or disclosing any deep secrets, when I say that, generally speaking, college students and recent graduates are not adept at face-to-face networking.”
My observations of jobseekers in age groups older than college students, and as high as mature workers, is similar to the sentiment Rich expresses; networking doesn’t come natural to many people. After pondering the reasons why networking is such a task for students, he provides seven sound tips to help people network.
Read the article in its entirety to learn Rich’s excellent tips:
- Define “networking” before you name it.
- Recommend they start with the people they know.
- Practice makes perfect.
- Show, don’t tell.
- Provide opportunities for students to build confidence in speaking.
- Watch for outside events where the topic of networking is being addressed.
- Connect with experts to support your efforts.
If you are a college career advisor, job coach, or a job-search advisor at any level; following Rich’s advice can help you guide your jobseekers to better network. Read Teaching Networking and Professionalism to College Students realizing that this advice applies to all age groups, not just college students.
Bob, you raise a great point that advice on networking for one group can be applied to other groups. I think that’s true for other aspects of career planning and development information. When Martin Yate published his most recent book, the book title focuses on tips and strategies for the “first-time job seeker.” As I review it on Amazon, I commented that the awesome advice in that book can be followed by anyone. A few days ago, I commented on a Forbes article about the “hidden job market” and my comment was to follow the author’s sage advice about networking, even if you happen to be applying for a job that’s not “hidden.” Networking is such an integral part of the job search process that it needs to be practiced in all situations by all age groups. Thanks for posting my article! Rich
My pleasure to share your article with my readers. I thought it spoke to more than one population, so it was a great post to share. (I’m also a big fan of Martin Yate.)
Well said Bob. You can’t just do networking because you are think it works. You need to work on it in a proper way. Connect with people of your interest and life whom with you can connect and share easily.
Thanks, Malhar. We need to think about networking as connecting with others in a more natural experience and on a daily basis.
Remember, it’s ok to brag. Elaborate on what the company is and does, as well as major accomplishments.