Networking Success Tips

Networking/Informational Interviews

  1. Make the Commitment. Just like going to the gym, writing a paper, or studying for a test, making a half-hearted effort will not give you the best results. The more time, energy, and focus you put into networking the more you will get out of it.
     
  2. Build Your Contact List. Compile a list of contacts which includes everyone you know. This could be current or former co-workers and supervisors, friends, family, roommates, professors, academic advisors, community members, family friends, student organization advisors. Even if you have not talked to the person in years, you still want to include them on your list. You need to be talking to as many people as possible. You can also use the Regional Network Link to connect with SMSU alumni around the United Sates who have volunteered to serve as mentors.
  3. Prioritize Your List. Prioritize your contact list based on the relationship you have with each person. Those who you know best will be at the top of your list and will be the first ones you will want to contact. After calling all these people, you will want to move on to those you do not know as well, and keep expanding outward. This will help you grow and strengthen your network.
     
  4. Contact Those on Your List. After your list of contacts is prioritized, start making calls and setting up informational meetings. Make sure to record the time, location, and specifics of each meeting in a day planner, so you do not forget about any meeting.
     
  5. Prepare Yourself. Read about your contact’s field and company in order to get the most out of the meeting and to seem interested. Prepare a list of 10-15 questions to ask your contact.
     
  6. Conduct an Effective Meeting. Make sure to arrive 10 minutes early to your appointment. Keep to the time limit and remember you were the one who initiated the interview, so ASK questions. It is important to describe your background, interests, and goals in a clear and concise way to your contact. Also, try to connect with the person you are interviewing on a personal level. It is easier to ask for referrals if you have a personal connection, and your contact will be more apt to refer you if there is a connection. Watch our informational interview video.
     
  7. Follow Up. Send a thank you which can be a handwritten note, email, or letter. Make sure to include your address and phone number in case they want to contact you in the future.
     
  8. Keep in Touch. Make sure to keep track of your referrals and initial contacts so you can reconnect with them. Keep them up to date on your job search and if you find a job through one of their referrals send them a quick note saying thanks again. Also, check in from time to time to see how they are doing and if you can help them with a project. If you meet someone who could be a potential client for your contact or could help them out, connect the two individuals. You want to show your contact that you are willing to help them in any way and hopefully they will return the favor.
     

Last Modified: 9/6/17 9:16 AM