We may not know everything there is to know about getting a job (who does?) but if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s how important connections are to landing the interview. You may have the perfectly designed and structured resume, but it means nothing if you can’t get it into the hands of the right person. The book “The Defining Decade” by Meg Jay taught us 5 lessons that every college girl should know when it comes to connecting to contacts in their industry.
1) WEAK TIES ARE GREATER THAN STRONG TIES.
Meg Jay advocates that our weak ties, people who aren’t necessarily our close friends, provide more value to our careers than strong ties, close friends who often offer emotional support. Our strongest ties are usually so similar to us in mindset and the way we communicate, we are unlikely to gain much capital from them. Therefore, it’s better to reach out to those who we aren’t as close with, as it requires us to communicate on a different level (think the way you talk to an acquaintance versus your BFF).
2) NETWORKING DOESN’T HAVE TO BE DIFFICULT.
There’s a certain degree of stress and anxiety tied to the term “networking”. It’s become more of a skill that we feel needs to be mastered by joining an abundance of clubs, groups and becoming best friends with everyone we meet. Hold up. Networking doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, networking can be as easy as taking your well-established Facebook stalking skills and putting them to good use finding alumni from your school and setting up an informational interview.
3) WANT TO GET SOMEONE ON YOUR TEAM? ASK FOR A FAVOR.
One of the best ways to put your networking skills into full force and get somebody on your team is to ask them for a favor. When you do a favor for someone, it convinces your mind into thinking you must be fond of them. Plus, there’s an unspoken helper’s high you get after being generous and doing something nice for someone. It’s a win-win for both parties, really.
4) WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, REMEMBER NAMES.
This is one of the most essential stepping-stones in building your network, but it’s so difficult to do. Try to get business cards when you meet people so you’ll have something to reference in the future. Remember small details about them. You’ll be surprised how by simply remembering their name will make them feel special.
5) DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START? BE KIND.
There’s a great measure of success to be had by simply showing a genuine interest in someone’s life. It’s a powerful statement to ask about someone’s endeavors, and better yet, remember them the next time you meet. It’s as simple as truly listening to what someone has to say, and asking the right questions. Social skills matter. Being kind will get you far.
Colette Killworth is an Editorial Contributor from California State Long Beach.
Her heart belongs to: Grand pianos, big cities and boyfriend jeans.
Her guilty pleasures: Dessert for breakfast, peonies, mimosas, Friends reruns and shamelessly hounding fashion blogs.
Photo by #WOCinTech Chat.