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The Elementary Rules of Networking Print
Written by Abby Kohut   

The interesting thing about networking is that we all know how to do it successfully…we just forgot. Think back to elementary school. Can you remember the first day when your mom dropped you off? Regardless of your personality, I guarantee that you were absolutely terrified. But you somehow figured out how to make friends. You found kids who had similar interests and you spent the most time with them. You were networking back then but you didn't even know it.

Today networking could not be more important. Everyone including Ellen DeGeneres, the View and Oprah are talking about it. It's everywhere you look. When the race between Ashton Kutcher and CNN for the #1 Twitter ranking made national headlines, you can be sure that you need to pay attention.

Networking is really simple…it's all about making new friends like you did in school. The problem is that like pushy used car salesmen, some "networkers" have given networking a bad reputation. Let's review some key DOs and DONT's about networking:

  • DON'T just walk around handing out your business cards by the dozens.
  • DO exchange business cards with anyone you meet with whom you have a genuine interest in staying in touch.

  • DON'T expect all of the "networking" to happen during the networking event.
  • DO follow-up with people you met after the event and discuss how you might be able to help each other pay it forward. The more you can give others, the more others will naturally want to help you. Networking is a two-way street.

  • DON'T expect networking to work for you if all you do is call your old friends, managers and colleagues only when you need something from them.
  • DO call the people you have lost touch with and reconnect with them for the purposes of re-establishing a strong relationship. Sites like LinkedIn and Facebook make it really easy to keep in touch with friends, even if all you do is drop them a fast hello every so often. There is no longer any excuse not to stay connected.
Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
The next time that you are at a networking event, think of the attendees as potential friends, not people who can do things for you. Ask people about their hobbies, their family, and their favorite vacation spots, not just about their job. While it might feel uncomfortable at first, it will soon become as natural as tying your shoes. And over time, you will meet some of the world's most inspiring, motivating, helpful people who one day you will call your friends. Your first grade self will be very proud of you!
 
  • Tired of all the rejection? If you're interested in learning the Absolute truth about why you're struggling, sign up for a one hour "Capture a Recruiter" phone session today. Reach out to me today with any questions and for an absolutely amazing discount coupon!

Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!