Networking Skills

Meet. Greet. Follow Up!

Here’s the truth: Networking is NOT all about who you know or who knows you. Networking is all about who likes you and who respects you.
— Pete Leibman
Alumnus Bryan Goldberg and students
Students networking with alumnus Bryan Goldberg after panel in Kroon Hall.

Why Network?

These are just a few of the many reasons why people network:
  • Find an Apartment
  • Starting a Business
  • Find a Good Day Care Center
  • Find a Date!
  • Job and Internship Search

How To Network

  • Ask for Referrals (faculty, friends, family)
  • Yale Career Network/FES Alum Database
  • Informational Interviews
  • Join Professional Associations and Attend Conferences
  • Seek Mentorship
  • Online Social Networks (LinkedIn; Facebook)
  • Career Fairs, On-Campus Events
  • Schmoozing (or simply talking!) at Events/Talks/Parties
The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.
— Keith Ferrazzi, Author of Never Eat Alone

Online Resources

Networking Basics

"Networking is NOT selling, nor USING people for your gain. Networking IS an exchange of information, contacts, referrals and goodwill. Networking leads to new relationships, new opportunities and greater accomplishments." -- Networking Works! Wetfeet Insider's Guide
  • Always reciprocate. Whether making an introduction, providing information or doing a favor. Ideas may come later if nothing immediately comes to mind.
  • Always FOLLOW UP. If a faculty member refers you to someone for a possible internship, act on the referral. If you meet someone at a conference and it seems like a fruitful connection, send them an email when you get home.
  • Maintain relationships. After you’ve followed up as suggested, let the faculty member know—keep the communication lines open and active.
  • Praise your network! When people you know do something worthwhile or merely an achievement you admire or respect, LET THEM KNOW!

Working A Room

Justin Frieberg with students after alumni panel
Incoming students meeting with alumnus Justin Frieberg after an alumni panel.
Re: Networking: "The word may conjure up images of business people in suits shaking hands, exchanging business cards, being phony, and sipping martinis." -- Michael Martine

Much networking can be done through email and phone conversations, but inevitably there will be times when all of you introverts will indeed be called upon to network in person, whether it be a professional conference, a career fair, an alumni gathering or after a keynote speaker lectures on campus. Here are some basic tips!

  • Seek Out Singles
  • Be Positive and Genuine
  • Sit With People You Don’t Know—don’t hang with your friends!
  • Come Prepared—Business Cards, Pen, Elevator Speech
  • Hang Out by The Buffet—increases your chances of being remembered! (endorphine/food/memory)
  • Focus on networking rather than eating!
Physical Tips:
  • Arm’s Length—watch for personal space
  • Dry, Firm Hand Shake
  • Body Language: Uncrossed Arms; Eye Contact; Smiling; Leaning Forward
  • Mirror the Person You are Talking To: Stance; Tone of voice
Talking Tips:
  • Graceful Entrance to Conversation in Progress: Wait for a pause, then “May I join you?”
  • Use the Person’s Name (Name Tag!)
  • Don’t Dominate One Person
    -Cues: they start looking around the room or fidgeting
  • Be Up on Current Events for Small Talk