I found an interesting article titled Top Ten Tips for Improving Student’s Networking Skills over at www.NextGenJournal.com. Not familiar with NextGen Journal? They are a site dedicated to college age stuends and they provide all kinds of useful info in the areas of politics, business, society, entertainment, etc. I’m not an avid follower but I did like this particular article.
The article provides some great tips for networking, which is probably the most important skill you can develop and nurture as you leave the college life and head out into the real world. With a particular focus on networking events like job fairs and meet and greets, there is a very useful top ten list provided. I won’t go into all of the ten tips but some top words of wisdom are:
1) Dress for success. Always be dressed to impress, even if the event you’re going to is a casual breakfast with an alumni.
2) Ask Questions. This is probably the best piece of advice, for network and for life in general.
3) Follow up. Another great gem, as so often in life we forget to follow up with a thank you call or offer out of fear of bothering someone. Stay on their mind.
I did have a small bone to pick with the top ten list. Tip # 8, Organize your contacts, wisely suggest using a pocket business card holder to organize your contacts. Great. But then they casually throw in that a ziploc bag will do the trick too. Nonsense! Invest in a presentable, perhaps even personalized buisness card case. This way, if you ever do need to pull a business card out of your pocket, or put one in your pocket, you’ll impress potential employers immediately with your attention to detail.