Networking is tough sometimes. How does one network and where do you even start?
I think phone calls are the best way to start networking and get insight into different possible career paths. It all starts with the simple kind note and question, “If you’re available, I would love to schedule a 30 minute phone call with you to learn more about x, y, z.” Easy. Now once the phone is scheduled what d0 you do next? The answer is prepare. Be well prepared before any phone call you might have – whether it is with an alum, student, LinkedIn connection, colleague or so forth you have to be well prepared before hoping on the phone and dialing that number.
What to prepare:
- Industry research – know what they work in from a broader sense. Get familiar with the industry they operate in and how that impacts their day to day.
- A list of questions – the key is 4-5 well thought out questions that will give you the insight you are looking for.
- Company news – what is their company doing now and how might that influence thier job. PS – might lead to a great question you can ask during the call!
- Everything about you – know your resume and past experiences inside and out. Go back and refresh yourself on what you have done to date and speak to them in the call.
- A pre phone call email and post phone call note – the KEY are these two aspects. Send a quick note saying you’re looking forward to the call, attach your resume and send an email invite. Afterwards, thank them for their time and willingness to chat. Simple but important.