Networking for Dummies!

t’s that dreaded time to get a recommendation letter and other than your Mom, best friend, and co worker from high school you’re drawing a blank. I personally hate asking for reference letters, but they are essential and a must have. In person I don’t mind talking to people, but I dread drudging up people from my past to beg them for a letter. So how do you build your networking circle? Here are 5 easy steps that might help you out.

  1. Linkedin
    If you have one already change your password, after that start looking for colleagues, fellow classmates, and former bosses. They also have a feature where someone can recommend you which is great so you don’t have to make a billion copies of one letter, or encase an email in amour.
    Now a lot of people say ” I have a facebook, a twitter, a blog why do I want linkedin?” Recruiters might do a bit of research on you before they hire you I know before I started my first day of work the HR recruiter actually looked and added me on Linkedin. This is a great to put your professional presence out into the real world. I’d rather have employers looking at my Linkedin profile at relevant info than my Facebook.
  2. Facebook
    I’m not necessarily a fan of adding employers on facebook, but your current colleauges in school are a great idea. This can keep you connected with the campus or area and when people graduate it gives you an informal way to keep us with people who might enter a field you want to break into.
  3. Mingling
    Good ole fashion hob-knobbing with people. Don’t be shy go out and talk to some people. Even those gnarly professors who seem to be delivered from Hades often have a much more inviting personality in their office away from the Lecture Hall. Going to someone’s office to talk can say a lot more than a quick 2 liner email.  In this day and age people spend most of their time tweeting and texting about where they are than talking to the people who are there. (GUILTY) Staring at your phone can get people to remember you for the WRONG reasons. You don’t want to be the stand offish person in the corner.  Also, don’t stay glued to your friend.You are not Siamese Twins. Branch out! Sometimes standing around with your friends joking can alienate others from speaking to you. Use open body language.
  4. Happy Hours A lot of organization and company’s go out for lunches, dinners and happy hours as a group. While your initial thought might be “I already have to see these people all day why should I spend MORE time with them?” This is an informal setting to relax and really get to know the interesting facts about people. It’s a great way to stand out from everyone else who is in a cubicle or classroom from 9-5
  5. Tweet!
    Tweet out to professors, follow companies you work for or want to work for. I’ve actually had people in interview say “Oh I remember your tweet”. You’d be surprised how happy it makes people that you saw and followed what they said. I usually don’t follow people I don’t know, but every now again one of your friends followers has some relevant info on their account and might tweet out some opportunities for you.

The best time to do it is while you’re still there because once you switch jobs, graduate,people change numbers, get married, retire, etc then you have out dated contact info, so get out there and work work