According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of all jobs are found through networking. Networking is building and nurturing professional connections and relationships. It is not simply acquiring business cards and adding names to your LinkedIn account – it is taking the time to getting to know people in the areas in which you are interested and staying in touch with them throughout your career. Use these simple tips to start, and continue, conversations with professional contacts.
Craft an Elevator Speech: Practice introducing yourself and your interests in no more than 30 seconds
- Hello, my name is ________ and I have a ________degree in ________ from Flagler College with a minor in ________.
- I am interested in a career in (or a position as a) ________ in the ________ industry.
- I have been involved in ________.
- And developed skills in ________. I also had an internship position (or employment) as a ________ with ________ and discovered that I really enjoy ________.
- Could you tell me more about ________?
Handshake: Your handshake should be firm and last about 3 seconds.
Eye Contact: Keep eye contact while shaking hands and throughout the conversation.
Smile: You will look confident and approachable.
Start small: Practice networking with people you already know.
Set a goal: Meet five new people, not everyone.
Listen: Ask people about their experiences and opinions, then listen with sincere interest.
Say thank you: Follow up with a thank you email to your new connections.
Stay in touch: Keep up with your connections; you never know when they will be able to help you.
There are several opportunities to network with professionals during the year. Check out our calendar of events and practice your networking skills!