Networking Etiquette 
Published: Sep-28-10
 

So you have picked out the job of your dreams. You did all the research and understand the different functions of whatever it is you want to do. You are ready to make your career transition. Now you face a major problem. Not knowing anyone in your hopeful chosen profession! Whatever will you do? There are many options but most experts agree that making professional connections in your chosen profession is the best way to make a career transition.

 

The first option is to join a professional networking group. I personally belong to NEW-Network of Executive Women and have made great connections with professionals outside of my company, industry and current job function. The people in this particular organization are happy to make introductions to others they know and have worked with in the past. They host lots of social and networking events that encourage professional networking with people you do or don’t know. While introductions aren’t a reference they certainly make your job of finding a new job much easier.

 

The second option (and my personal favorite) is to write down everyone you know fairly well from friends to neighbors to former co-workers to third cousins and where they work. You can always ask them to introduce you to their HR Manager or their colleagues in IT. You should never be afraid to ask your friends and family politely for introductions. Don’t take it personally when your request is declined. They may turn down your request for many reasons-- they might not like their current employer or boss, for instance, or might be considering a new job themselves.

 

Finally,networking on LinkedIn (or Twitter or Facebook or Word Press) is another way to meet people in your chosen profession. This is a little bit trickier because you are approaching people without any introduction. Candidates request help from me regularly and it’s considered part of a recruiter’s trade. Just keep a few things in mind. Make sure you are approaching the appropriate recruiter or manager. For example I recruit for Process Improvement, Operations and Systems Integrations candidates. If you are an administrative assistant I may not be able to help you or take you very far within my own organization. Your message should be short and sweet. Better messages state why you are looking for assistance and what you are hoping to gain from this transaction. Attach your resume if you think the situation calls for it. The introduction message shouldn’t be your cover letter--four or five sentences are perfect.

 

Hopefully one or all three of these avenues can you lead you to a few good contacts that can you help out with a transition into your chosen profession. Just remember to be polite, take rejections politely and remember the more connections the better.

 
 
 

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About the Authors
Andrea Constantinides
Andrea Constantinides
I earned my bachelor’s from Stanford in History (Russian History, to be exact) and a master’s in Organizational Sociology. After graduation, I starte...
 
Jennifer Pollard
Jennifer Schwab
My name is Jennifer Schwab and I have been working at Accenture in campus recruiting for the past four years. Prior to joining Accenture, I graduated...
 
Betsy Paulose
Betsy Paulose
I have been with Accenture since 2006, primarily recruiting for our SAP Consulting practice. Originally from Miami, FL, I received a BA degree in Psy...
 
Kim Ahern-Wills
Kim Ahern-Wills
My name is Kim Ahern-Wills and I have been with Accenture since 2001. Prior to Accenture I worked with Destination Hotels and Resorts, Lucent Technol...
 
 
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