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.