Director, Career Counseling & Placement
Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest, NJ
A personal contact may be the key that opens the golden
door to your future; however, most of us are reluctant to
use personal contacts to help us in our job search. This
paper will outline proven techniques that will help you identify,
and then link with others in order to build an ever expanding
network of personal contacts who can provide information,
advice, support, ideas-more contacts-and, maybe even your
HOW TO NETWORK
Here are a list of points to guide you toward
your first networking meeting:
- Meet as many people as you can. Tell them briefly what
you do. Networking is low-cost advertising.
- Don't wait
to be introduced. Introduce yourself. Act like
a host, not a guest.
- Don't do business while networking.
Make a date to meet your contact at a mutually convenient
cards, whet his/her appetite with your enthusiasm and
your interest in a future meeting.
- Be brief and to
the point. Don't ask for a job: ask for suggestions,
- Give and get. Do favors. People will
remember you for them.
- Follow-up. This is all important.
Meeting someone is just the beginning. Stay in touch.
If you haven't
in a while, call to offer information, to ask
advice, to keep in touch.
- Make friends even when you don't
- Edit your contacts. Eventually you have to
separate the productive from the nonproductive. You
can't be involved
with all your
THE NETWORKING MEETING: AN OVERVIEW
Here are some tips to
remember when you finally have that networking meeting:
- Assure the person that you are not there to ask for a
job! Thank him/her in advance for meeting with you. "I
want to make it clear that I did not come here to ask for
or even expect that you know of an opening. What I need
at this point is some information and advice from you."
a brief work related summary highlighting your general
background, work experience, and several specific accomplishments.
This should not take more than several minutes, at most.
- Ask questions and gather information. Elicit the contact's
views and opinions about the job market, where you
might fit in and employment trends in your industry.
for names of other people you might meet or talk with
to gather additional information.
- Close positively and
courteously, thanking the contact for the meeting and
indicating that you will stay
- Follow up immediately with a brief, sincere,
well-written thank you note.
NETWORKING QUESTIONS FOR CAREER CHANGERS
If you are changing
careers, here is a set of questions you can use during
your networking meeting:
- How did you get started in this field or obtain your
- What are the responsibilities of your job?
- How would
you describe a typical day in your current job?
do you like best about your job?
- What aspects of your
work do you like the least?
- Are there jobs that are similar
to yours but with different job titles?
- What are some
common problems in this job . industry?
- How long does
it usually take to move from one step to the next in
- Are there other areas of this field to transfer
to what are they?
- What are the basic prerequisites
for jobs in this field?
- Are there any specific courses
you would recommend in preparation for this field?
entry level job would best qualify one for this field?
- What types of training do companies provide to people
entering this field?
- What are the salary ranges for various
levels in this field?
- What is
the demand for people in this field?
- How do you see the
jobs in this field changing over the next
five to ten
years? What can
I do to prepare
- What periodicals
or trade journals would you recommend
read to learn more
- What is the best
way to obtain a position to start
- Is there anyone
else you can suggest whom
For more information about this or other topics related
to your job search, contact
the IAJVS affiliate agency nearest you.
Would you like to suggest or contribute a column for job
seekers? Please contact us.