Networking Advise
December 5, 2012 6:17 PM   Subscribe

Networking Etiquette. I am starting out on a new job search, and I was hoping to learn some pointers in networking etiquette. I have recently received a graduate degree in Public Relations/Communications. My main contacts are people in my program and professors. I am interested in what is the proper manner to introduce myself to people outside of my current circle with the ultimate aim of landing a job in this field. I appreciate any advise you may have. Thanks!
posted by dfc5656 to Work & Money (3 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I just did this after finishing my master's degree in urban planning. One of my professors gave me a list of alumni who now hold professional positions. I wrote them emails along the following lines below. The most important thing is to remember to ask whoever you are networking with for more contacts!! I sent probably about 10 of these emails and heard back from 8 people. Don't take it personally if people don't email you back. I networked with a company in April and got hired in July - networking definitely can work!

Example email:
Subject: Informational Interview
Hi Ms. Professional -
My name is Nanhey and I just graduated from University Masters Program. The program keeps a list of alumni and your name caught my eye since you currently work in in Urban City. As a Big City native, I'm really interested in moving back to the area after school.

If you have the time, I would love the opportunity to sit down and talk to you about what it's like to work at your orgranization and what kind of skills you think someone new to the field of urban planning should have.

I'm going to be in town the April 16th and 17th. Do you have time to talk on either of those days?

Thanks very much for your time and help,
posted by nanhey at 6:32 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you are at a networking event you walk up to anybody that is not engaged in a conversation, introduce yourself, and ask what they do / what their company does. They are all there for the same reason. If you meet somebody that you want to talk to further get a card as ask about getting together over coffee to chat more. Don't monopolize their time, you goal is to work the room and meet a lot of people while they are all in one room.
posted by COD at 6:50 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I work in PR -- more than 20 years now, geez -- and I almost never say no to a good email for an informational interview. Typically, as Nanhey notes, they went to one of my schools. They also find me -- I assume -- through online searching because they are interested in my sector.

Also, have you joined any professional associations? I got my second job via someone I worked with on a volunteer committee. He got to know my work over many months and saw I was reliable, smart and energetic (I was younger then). Then when I was looking for a new job, he offered me one. A caveat, don't just join IABC, for example, and attend events just to corner people who look like they have senior jobs. That can backfire. In my opinion, it's better to actually get involved and show your stuff.

Good luck! Communications is an interesting field -- I am very lucky to say I love my job -- I hope you find one you love, too -- or at least like enough to get you on your way.
posted by Lescha at 6:54 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

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