Assessing your Networking Skills

neteork Job search experts estimate that about 75% of jobs are filled through the “hidden job market” or networking. While that might sound daunting, it needn’t be: networking is more about developing specific interactive skills than in having, say, high-powered friends. It might help to know that your contacts will likely find it satisfying to help you if you follow proper etiquette with them.

Evaluate the strength of your networking skills, rating each of the following 1-3 (3 is high).

Before networking

You have developed a list of people you know (no matter what their employment field or status), drawn from your friends, friends of parents, parents of friends, volunteering, work experience, college connections, and all extracurricular experience. From the list, you have identified those whose advice you trust most.
You have a strong résumé ready to provide to your contact on request.*
You have done research about the field you hope to enter, and have specific questions you would like to have answered about it.*
You have a clear sense of what you hope to happen as a result of making this contact, which you can share with the person.*
You have developed an elevator pitch that you can use to introduce yourself to people you hope will help you enter your chosen field.

During networking

You know not to ask for a job or internship explicitly, but instead to request advice and leads in finding one.
You are courteous, keeping careful note of your contacts’ advice and thanking them for their time.
You understand that networking is mutual, and are willing to give some time to updating your contact about a mutual friend or recent events at the college if they ask.*

After networking, and in general

You follow-up, letting your contacts know how your search turns out.*
You have established a professional profile on LinkedIn and joined appropriate LinkedIn groups including Hanover Career Alumni Network.
You keep in touch with friends, past co-workers and classmates.

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