Networking 101


  1. Listen to the experts, networking does work.

  2. Get out and meet people. The phone is okay, for first contact, but is no substitute for face to face.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all opportunities.

  3. Talk to relatives, friends and former business associates. Also, talk to other clients at your outplacement provider.  You will be surprised at how willing they are to help. Good way to get started.

  4. Start by "schmoozing". Do not overdo the personal side of the conversation, but don't be afraid to go there either, if the networking contact seems interested. 

  5. Do not get caught in an "untruth," but be high on yourself, your ability and your experience.

  6. Ask every network contact you make for additional contacts. Keep all your contacts informed. They do not like surprises any more than you do.  Contacts talk to other contacts.

  7. Keep a list. Include last date of contact and next planned date of contact.

  8. Do not give up on a contact. Things change and opportunities change.

  9. Do not assume an opportunity provided by a contact is not worth pursuing. Follow up until you are sure there is not an opportunity. On the other side, do not waste your time, it is your most important asset.

  10. Be positive. Networking contacts like to be around positive people.

  11. Be sure you can articulate what you are looking for.  Work on your two minute commercial. If appropriate, customize to the specific opportunity. 

  12. Limit your networking meeting to three per day maximum. Two works better.

  13. Learn from each contact meeting. You can do it better the next time.

  14. The process does work. Keep your head up, your eyes open and your approach positive.


Anatomy of a networking visit...

  1. Develop an initial list of contacts.

  2. Grow the list.

  3. Arrange networking meetings.

  4. Confirm the contact meeting in a letter, include your resume or profile.

  5. Phone confirmation the previous day.

  6. Arrive at the site 30 minutes early.

  7. Show up at the office / restaurant 5 minutes early.

  8. Start by smoozing - ask the contacts about their personal / professional life.

  9. Remind the contact that you are not seeking a job from them, just trying to build a network of contacts.

  10. Give your 30 second commercial.

  11. Ask this contact for 2 - 3 additional network contacts.

  12. Ask for permission to follow up with this contact in 30 - 60 days.

  13. Tell contact you will let him / her know how it goes with these new contacts.

  14. Immediately after the meeting, write a summary in a log book.

  15. Transcribe meeting notes into a contact management program (Word, Excel, Act, etc).

  16. Promptly send a handwritten note thanking contact for meeting with you.


Remember - 70% of the people hate their jobs, you have an opportunity to reboot your career.


Contributed by 

William Wolfe, President 
Delta System Designs
508 South Main Street
Suite 204
Zelienople, PA

Last Updated 04/10/01 09:17 AM

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