Webinar recap: How to network while avoiding the pitfalls

This webinar was presented by certified career coach, Win Sheffield (Questrom‘79) on March 11, 2020. The following paragraphs sum main topics from the webinar to make it easier for our alumni & friends to get the resources they need to get ahead in their careers

Thinking that a networking connection is an interview opportunity is one of the most common mistakes people make. Instead of asking for a job, your networking objectives should include seeking information and forming a real connection.

How to prepare

  • Do your research on the skillsets needed & companies in the industry.
  • Prepare specific questions you wish to ask.
  • Ask your friends about possible connections.
  • Reach out to first degree connections first, this makes it easier to start a conversation with small talk.

Requesting a meeting

Now that you have the base knowledge, it’s time to move to requesting a meeting.

  • Make an initial connection through LinkedIn or email.
  • Share your focus, your goals, and how you got their information.
  • Be clear you are not asking for a job.
  • Show them gratitude for taking your request.
  • Inform them of some of your questions, this can help secure a meeting.
  • Wait 5-10 business days to ask again, show interest but do not over contact.

At the meeting and afterward

  • Tell them something about where you are headed in your career.
  • Ask the questions you had prepared.
  • Share experiences that will demonstrate your skills.
  • Ask them to keep you in mind for opportunities they become aware of.
  • Find out how they can assist you, instead of assessing you.
  • Follow up and keep in touch with them after.
  • Thank them using specific aspects of the conversation.