Networking [net-wur-king] noun A supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest

Why is it important?

According to research conducted by Cornell University Career Services, 85 percent of newly created jobs in America are never posted anywhere and 75 percent of jobs for replacement positions are never posted anywhere. This means that jobs posted on websites represents only about 15 percent of the opening that exist. The people who know about the other opening are hiring manager and their networks
  • Hiring Managers first look to people they know and trust. If no candidates come up, they next turn to their network for people they know and trust. 

Techniques for when "It's Time to Network"

Below are 14 easy-to-learn techniques courtesy of Networking for College Student by Dr. Michael L. Faulkner & Andrea Nierenberg
  1. Have a business card
  2. Have an "icebreaker" opening line. 
  3. Develop your "branding statement". Some people call this an "elevator statement" because you should be able to complete it on a short elevator ride. It is a twenty-to thirty-second infomercial about yourself
  4. Do your research, and know something about your potential network associates. 
  5. Have a list of "get-to-know-you" questions prepared and practiced so you sound natural. 
  6. Develop a list of idea-generator topic (small talk).
  7. Get in line. 
  8. Take a deep breath, visualize yourself engaged in a thoughtful, interesting, and memorable conversation, and dive into a group. 
  9. Look for a designated host or greeter and start there. 
  10. If you and the contact have your hands free, extend your hand first and offer a firm (not bone-crushing) handshake, and introduce yourself. 
  11. If you are seated at a table, start a conversation with the person to your right or left. 
  12. Have an exit strategy, a "break the contact" comment that allows you both to break off conversation gracefully. 
  13. Set a goal for every event or activity you attend to build your network.
  14. Follow up with a thank-you.