Networking for Newbies or Refresher for Workforce Returnees

If you just graduated, or are returning to the job market after an extended leave, networking is likely part of your strategy. But with little or no experience, how can you impress those with whom you’re meeting? Fast Company offers these five tips:

  • Draft a list of the qualities that make someone a good connection at this career stage.   When circulating, use that list to ask questions and learn out about the other person.
  • Ask open-ended questions and really listen. Avoid “yes” or “no” questions, and listen with your full attention, resisting your own urge to respond.
  • Think about what you can offer them. Know your relevant strengths and be ready to offer them. Giving is a great way to make a connection.
  • Focus on building relationships rather than getting a job. Drop the canned pitch and show genuine interest in the person you’re talking to.
  • Finally, show some vulnerability. Not trying to be perfect will ease your mind and allow for the new connection to be authentic.