May 1st is decision day for all high school seniors. They must have their deposits in to the schools that are attending to hold their spot.
Here are 10 tips for you to pass on to your family member or friend…. and it’s also a good resource for any graduate.
Take a look at my book… ‘Networking For College Students and Graduates’ for more ideas and detail.
- BE PREPARED ‘Networking’ opportunities can happen anywhere, anytime. Be polished, poised and professional 24/7
- Be confident in your approach- eye contact, listening and a strong hand shake create a presence that will help you stand out.
- Prepare your introduction Begin the conversation with a general statement about yourself. This could include the degree you are pursuing, your major, when you graduate. For example, I am in the MBA program with a concentration in Marketing and will graduate in 2013. I would like to know more about marketing opportunities with your company.” The key is to have a short opening line or introduction to get conversations started-in fact create several.
- Networking is all about building relationships and giving before you get. Figure out ways you can give something to those that are helping you—for example—you are on the cutting edge of technology and could offer suggestions to help them.
- Show a strong interest in the people that you meet and ask them how they got into their business and what advice they would give you.
- Research companies and people—know as much as you can so that you have talking points and to show you have done your homework. You can never do too much homework!
- Always ask people their preferred method of communication when you follow up and always follow up—no matter what. Some people prefer email, phone or text. Never assume—ask. Always ask people open-ended ‘high gain’ questions to learn. It shows interest and that you took the time to find out.
- When you do go to any type of event—arrive early and realize you are on from the minute you walk in the door. Be interested and take the initiative. Introduce yourself to people—and listen more then you speak. Take notes and be a sponge. More opportunities happen when we put ourselves in interesting opportunities.
- In your ‘networking’ tool kits—always carry and have a business card with you. Create a simple, professional card with your name, contact information and perhaps your area of interest. Make it easy for others to contact you. Carry pen and paper to take notes so that you can follow up and remember things that people told you-including their name or something that was important to them.
- Send follow up notes Always send a thank you note when someone has spent time, given you advice or information, a referral—anything. What gets remembered gets rewarded. Stand out by following up with a handwritten note or as I say your 49 cent investment plan. It will separate you from the crowd and will show that besides high-tech—you are also high touch. You distinguish yourself, follow up and follow through and create a positive lasting impression.