Top Eight Rules of Networking"
Here are his suggestions:
1. Have a Solid Introduction
"First impressions count heavily. Make sure your attire, attitude and overall appearance are the best possible before introducing yourself to someone."
No brainer, right?
2. Don't Confuse People with Your Pitch
"No one needs to hear your entire work history upon meeting you. If someone asks you to tell them a bit about yourself, your explanation from start to finish shouldn't take more than 30 to 60 seconds."
This is something you should be practicing -- in the car, in the shower, in front of the mirror. Put yourself in the listener's shoes, would you want to hear a two hour dialogue from someone you just met?
3. Don't Tell a Sob Story
"No matter how tough it's been, you need to paint a positive picture when you're making new connections. 'Potential employers or connections aren't going to bring on people who are down in the dumps just to make them feel better,' . . . They want people who project a good, can-do attitude, and who will be energetic and excited about the position, not people who are just excited to have a job."
Think about it. Have you ever been on a date with someone who told you their whole horrific medical history? I bet you couldn't wait to get out of there.
4. Spend More Time Listening Than Talking
See number two.
5. Avoid Being Socially Inept
"There's a fine line between being friendly and personable and being awkward. You do not want to be the latter. 'Steer clear of talking about things that would make people uncomfortable.'"
See number three.
6. Don't Overstay Your Welcome
"Taking up too much of someone's time is almost as bad as ignoring them entirely."
7. Hand out Your Business Card, Not Your Resume
"What?" you ask. You don't have a business card? Go to the local stationary store and buy a box of blank business cards. If you have Microsoft Word there are plenty of templates to choose from. Make sure you put your name, address, phone number, and email address on your business card. A catchy one liner is good, for example: Registered Nurse Seeks Job.
8. Follow Up and Through
"Perhaps the 'Cardinal Rule' of networking is that once you've planted the seeds of a new relationship, you must follow up to maintain it. Whether it's a business referral, job lead, or a professional connection, get in touch – within 24 hours – to say you enjoyed meeting them."
That doesn't mean hounding them everyday, or asking them to become your friend of FaceBook (BTW never, EVER, do this with business colleagues, or potential business colleagues), just send them a brief email.