Monday, October 15, 2012
10 Networking Tips from Business Professional Andrea Nierenberg
In many business instances, getting a job is not entirely about what you know, but rather, who you know.
Real-life networking is an important skill for students to develop in helping one get a job, keep it, and get promoted, said Andrea Nierenberg, president of The Nierenberg Group and co-author of the definitive guide to "Networking for College Students and Recent Graduates".
"Real networking can happen anywhere, anytime and can be learned from all the people you meet," she said.
In an article found on pearsonlearningsolutions.com, Ms. Nierenberg explores 10 networking tips to help students in successful networking.
1. Be prepared.
Ms. Nierenberg states that opportunities for networking can happen anywhere and at anytime. In order for students to be ready for these interactions they must be "polished, poised and professional 24/7."
2. Be confident.
Things like eye contact, a strong handshake, and actually listening to another person will help students to create a unique presence.
3. Have a prepared introduction.
Ms. Nierenberg states that it is best to begin a conversation with a generic statement about oneself including things like major, pursued degree, and expected graduation date. However, keep this opening statement short and clear and have several different lines that you will be able to use in different settings.
4. Have a goal to actually build a relationship in which you give before you get.
Business professionals like to know the skills that students have to offer as an individual that could potentially benefit their company. As a student, let the business know that you have these skills and are willing to offer them to the company for the company's betterment.
5. Show genuine interest in the people that you meet.
Ms. Nierenberg suggests that students should ask personal questions about the professionals they meet inquiring about their own business experiences and any advice that they could give.
6. Do your homework.
It is wise for students to research the companies and people that work for them before actually meeting them, said Ms. Nierenberg. This is a good idea so that students have talking points and so that the professional knows that you care enough about the company to understand how they work.
7. Always follow up — no matter what.
When you do this, be sure to ask for the preferred method of follow-up communication as well. People have different preferences of communication and it is best to never assume.
8. When at an event, be on-time and in character.
Ms. Nierenberg said that students need to realize that at any type of professional event where the potential of networking is possible, they are on display from the minute they walk in the door. Therefore, they should be on their best behavior. This includes taking the initiative in meeting people, being genuinely interested in what they have to say, listening more than you speak and taking some notes.
9. Always carry a business card.
Students should create a card with their name, contact information and areas of interest so that others can easily contact you, Ms. Nierenberg said. She also added that it's a good idea to carry a piece of paper and pen so you can write down things that you need to follow up on, and remember important things that people told you.
10. Send a "Thank You" note.
Ms. Nierenberg suggests following up with people that you have just networked with by sending a note and thanking them for their time. This will help you stand-out and create a lasting impression.