Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Career Tips: Engineering Networking Like a Pro

For everyone. networking is crucial to getting a dream job straight out of college. I know that without the networking I did throughout my 4 years, I probably would not have gotten my full time offer. Networking is crucial because the people in your network can vouch for you. In my case, networking got me the foot in the door, I killed the interviews and ended up with an awesome job. To me, there are two types of networking. There are networking events where you go solely to make friends with others in your field or above you versus networking with friends or older students at college in major specific clubs. They are totally different in my opinion and I have tips for either situation.

Networking Events

When at conferences, they often have mixers where you can just chat with other professionals in your field. For these events, I like to prepare by reading some recent articles about the conference or if within your company, brushing up on some of the newest technology. If there is a lull in the conversation, you can save it with bringing up something that most people should have a basic to advanced understanding of from work.

Second, bring business cards but be selective about who you give your information to at the event. Not everyone you meet deserves a card and that sounds very harsh! Make sure that you are giving your information to people you clicked with because that is the best way to connect and keep in contact. It is important to make connections but you have to maintain them or they will fade.

Networking in General

If possible, try to reconnect with everyone at least once a year. This means sending an email, a text message, having a phone call or meeting in person. One of the key lessons I learned is that you don't want to hear from someone when they want something. You should have a good enough relationship that you can reach out whenever for advice or new job prospects but this only works if you maintain your connection with that person.

Make sure you become friends on Linked in and start to endorse each other for skills if you know the other person is proficient. It is really crucial to have endorsements when you look for a new job or internship so keeping on top of that part of your Linkedin profile will keep you in the game.

How do you maintain and work your network?

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