Networking Basics

Networking is a collection of skills and activities centered around cultivating meaningful, lasting relationships.

Networking is quality, not quantity.

Networking IS:

  • Development & maintenance of mutually valuable relationships
  • Sharing of knowledge & contacts — helping others!
  • Information gathering & relationship building

Networking is NOT:

  • Only for extroverts
  • Selling anything
  • Getting a job
  • A one-way relationship
  • A nuisance
  • Annoying

Keep in mind your goals:

  • Exploration: Learn if a career or organization is the right fit for you.
  • Target jobs: Learn about an organization’s culture or tips on getting a position within a company.
  • Gain advice: Get suggestions on your resume, making connections, & experience building.

Networking opportunities are varied!

When considering networking opportunities, keep in mind your strengths and goals.
Do you work better in a structured environment (e.g., informational interviewing, networking at a distance, volunteering at event) or an informal, unstructured environment (e.g., social mixers)?

In Person Networking:

Watch your body language!

  • Stand tall, smile, and be approachable.
  • Remember your hygiene.
  • Stop fussing — you look fine.
  • Respect personal space.
  • Carry things in your left-hand so your right-hand is free.
  • Name-tags are worn on the right.
  • Leave backpacks & large bags at home.

Set yourself up for success!

  • Be prepared: do your research on the company / organization / recruiters you are going to meet
  • Review your goals
  • Keep in mind the goals of others (Why are they at the event? How can you help them?)

Networking at a Distance:

Always remember:

  • Who is my audience?
  • What are their goals? What are my goals?
  • What can I offer? How can I personalize it?

Thank you notes can be a great start to an ongoing correspondence.

Networking Through Branding:

Berkeley means...

  • High-caliber professionals
  • Outstanding technical knowledge
  • Innovation!

Your charge is to embody the Berkeley Brand.

3 Steps to Making Conversation:

Step One: Introductions

  • Introduce yourself & introduce your peers
  • Remember the more important person gets an introduction first.
  • Forgot someone’s name? Use the wingman approach or simply say, “I’m so sorry, I have forgotten your name but I’d love to stay in touch. Can you remind me again?”

Step Two: Making Conversations

  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Make small talk — discuss the event, give a compliment!

Step Three: Graceful Exit

  • When the conversation begins to end, make your exit. Note that you don’t want to tie them up, you promised yourself that you’d circulate, or simply say, “Thank you for the conversation; it was great to meet you.”
  • Ask for contact information so that you can stay in touch.

Cultivate & Grow your Connections.

  • Send a personalized thank-you note (email).
  • Add contacts on LinkedIn.
  • If something new happens, (e.g., you have a job change, you attend an interesting conference) send a follow-up note.
  • If you take their suggestions (e.g., meet with that person, read that article) send a follow-up note.
Last updated: December 2, 2022