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Exploding Networking Myths

Lacy Nelson, M.Ed., PCC, CMC Associate Director, Executive and Alumni Career Services

Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management

Why do I have to network? •  I’m not good at meeting new people. •  I don’t know what to say. •  I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m looking for work. •  I don’t want to bother people. •  I don’t want people to think I’m taking advantage of them. •  I’m too busy to attend meetings.

Networking is Like An Awkward First Date! Why do I have to go through all of these meetings? Isn’t this being fake, inauthentic, dishonest? I just want a job!

You Are Already A Networker Have you ever: Asked someone about a restaurant, a city, doctor, school, book, movie, directions, etc.? You have exchanged information with someone who was happy to give advice and information.

Today’s Agenda •  •  •  •  •  • 

Why Networking? (Do I HAVE to Network?) What is Networking? So.. How Do I Network? Before You Get Out There Sample Networking Conversation At Owen, We Take Business Personally

Yes, You Have to Network! §  §  § 

More than 80% of job opportunities are found through networking Companies prefer to hire someone “known” to them On-line resume selection systems don’t “know” you and your application can be tossed

Yes, You Have to Network! •  Networking gives you more control over your career •  You can learn about a company’s culture, salary structure, benefits, leadership and employees

Networking is NOT: §  Calling your friends to ask them for a job with their company §  An endless cycle of cold calling §  Attending events and handing out your cards §  Taking advantage of people §  Sending out multiple copies of your resume Networking Video

Networking is: •  Building Relationships •  Exchanging INFORMATION •  A Process of Give and Take •  A Way to Get Your Message to the Market •  A Way to Gather Information About Your Target Companies

Networking is: •  Obtaining advice •  Leaving a lasting impression •  Obtaining referrals to continue expanding your network

Why Would Someone Want to Network With You? •  Humanitarian Reasons •  Self-Serving Reasons •  Parental Reasons •  Ego Reasons •  Expansion of their own network •  Get this person off my back

On Average, It May Take §  10-15 contacts to generate one formal interview §  5-10 formal interviews to generate one solid job offer

Evaluate Your Networking Skills Think about a Recent Professional Event or Social Event That You Attended and Answer

Yes or No:

Evaluate Your Networking Skills •  Did you come to the event dressed appropriately to present a good image? •  Did you initiate a conversation with at least 10 people? •  Did you introduce yourself using good eye contact, a sincere smile, a firm handshake and a brief introduction of who you are?

Evaluate Your Networking Skills •  When conversing, did you listen closely for common interests and special needs? •  Did you convey enthusiasm and interest in the person with whom you were speaking? Talk about you or talk about them? •  Did you find someone you know and stay with them the entire time or did you mingle?

Evaluate Your Networking Skills •  Did you make a point of introducing any person you talked with to anyone else? •  Did you exchange business cards? •  Did you follow up with a significant contact with an email or telephone call? •  If this was a business event, did you research to gather information about the group, speaker or members prior to the meeting?

Where Do You Go To Network? •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  • 

Owen Alumni Personal Contacts Association Meetings Business Networking Meetings/Meetups Social Events Community Service Groups School (if you attend class OR sign up for a class) Your Child’s School (Parent meetings, etc.) Sporting Events Any Group Who Shares An Interest of Yours

So… How Do I Network? Create Answers to the Following Questions: §  What kind of work do you do? (no jargon) §  What do you want to do? §  Why are you looking? Why do you want to leave your company? §  What companies are you targeting? Buy personal business cards: Kinkos/FedEx, Office Supply,

So‌ How Do I Network? Create a Marketing Plan: A Marketing Plan is a one-page outline of your targeted job titles, your Summary Statement from your Resume, an organized list of competencies, and a list of companies that you wish to target. View a sample at, click on Alumni Resources

So… How Do I Network? How to use the Marketing Plan: §  Use it to stay focused and on track §  Take it with you to your networking meetings to help your contacts help and advise you §  Add to your list of target companies

So… How Do I Network? •  Create a List of People You Know and Begin With Them (friends and classmates) •  Ask to set up a time to meet for a short discussion •  I’m NOT asking you to find me a job •  I’d really appreciate your advice

Networking Pointers Use the S-M-A-R-T Approach: Summarize your Message Share you Marketing Plan Ask Questions Ask for Referrals Trade Information

Networking Pointers §  Successful job seekers spend 25 to 35 hours a week in job search §  If 80% of jobs are found through word of mouth, how much time do you want to devote to networking per week?

At Owen, We Take Business Personally §  Vanderbilt Business Network §  Small by design for relationship building §  Competitive & collaborative, not cutthroat §  Vanderbilt Alumni network and relationships across the globe

At Owen, We Take Business Personally §  We want to connect with you and help you determine a path for your career. §  Degree programs: Executive MBA & Americas MBA §  Non-degree programs: Executive Education

§  Schedule a personal consultation today at §  Thank you!

Networking webinar  
Networking webinar