Networking

  • Networking is asking for career information or advice from people you have some connection with
  • Networking is an important aspect of any successful job search
  • 80% of opportunities are found through word-of-mouth
  • If you put in the time and effort, a solid network can help you find information and opportunities you wouldn’t find anywhere else

Build Your Network

  • Create a LinkedIn profile, Wildcat Connections profile, and join groups UNH Alumni Association groups
  • Schedule meetings with faculty, friends, and family to find out who is in their network
  • Expand your professional online network through LinkedIn,  Facebook, and Twitter
  • Go to job fairs where you can get information and network with employers
  • Find mentors - connect with people interested in helping you succeed
  • Get involved in professional, social, or community activities both on and off campus
  • Help others build their networks
  • Create a top 10 list of dream employers and contact them to request an informational interview
  • Always send a thank you note

Networking Etiquette

  • First impressions are very important
  • Approach any potential contacts with courtesy and tact – Most contacts will be pleased and flattered to hear from you as long as you're polite and considerate
  • Respect their boundaries – Don't badger or harass them
  • Follow through on what you promise and be honest in all of your interactions
  • Don’t ask for a job – The person you are speaking with may not have any knowledge of potential job openings, which will be awkward and shut the conversation down right away

Quick Guide to Networking

First Impressions 

A common synonym for developing and maintaining contacts and personal connections with a variety of people who might be helpful to you and your career. Creating friendships is networking ... you do it all the time. You can network with everyone! 

Networking Basics

  • Come prepared! Know who will be at the event, appropriate dress attire, and BE ON TIME!
  • Have positive body language-smile, stand up straight, and arms at your side.
  • Prepare some conversation topics prior to the event.

Handshakes

  • Have a firm handshake - don't grip too hard, but don't have a limp hand.
  • Your thumb should be up, and between your thumb and index finger should meet.
  • It should last about 3 seconds, with a couple of pumps ... do not hold on forever!
  • Smile and make good eye contact during the handshake.

Conversations

  • Create your Elevator Pitch, this is your 30 second commercial, all about who you are!Include your name, major, year at UNH, and your career goals.
  • Avoid religion, politics, money and heated current events.
  • Have questions prepared to ask: ''Tell me about your background", "what advice would you have for someone entering the field", "are there colleagues you would recommend I talk to", "how did you get started", to name a few!
  • Find commonalities and shared interests. You can also talk about recent events, sports, and other general interest topics.
  • When ready to leave a conversation, let the person(s) know you were happy to talk to them, ask for a business card, and move on!
Infographic with images of appropriate business clothing

After the Event

  • Write notes on the back of business cards!
  • Follow up with the contacts that you made.
  • Send an email stating it was nice talking with them, who you are, and include something you discussed.

Dining Etiquette Specifics

General Dining Tips

  • Always taste your food before you add salt or pepper.
  • Cut one bite at a time, including with salad.
  • Pace your eating with your host. Do not finish too quickly or take too long.
  • Turn off your cell phone during the meal/event.
  • Do NOT talk with food in your mouth, and do NOT chew with your mouth open. You should also avoid slurping and smacking your lips.
  • Follow the lead of the host when it comes to dinner conversation! Do not bring up business items until the host/interviewer does.
  • If food is hot, allow time for it to cool rather than blowing on it.
  • If you drop a utensil, do not pick it up. Politely ask for a new utensil.
  • Sit up straight at the dinner table, and do not put elbows on the table.
  • Do NOT reach across the table. Politely ask someone to pass the item.
  • You may start eating when everyone is served. If you are unsure, follow the lead of the host/interviewer.
  • To signal to the server that you are done with your meal, place your utensil across your plate, with the handle at 4 o’clock.

Napkin

  • Your napkin will be on your left, or on your plate when you approach your seat.
  • Place your napkin on your lap when everyone is seated at the table.
  • Place your napkin on your chair when you need to excuse yourself for a moment. Place the napkin on the right side of your plate at the end of your meal, when everyone is done.

Drinks

  • It is recommended to not order alcohol during an interview. Some networking events may be acceptable to order, but limit yourself to one.
  • Water, juice, and iced tea are safest choices.
Image of a table setting for a formal dinner

Ordering

  • You should never order the most expensive item on the menu, unless your host recommends you to and it is something you would like.
  • Order a mid-priced item that you will enjoy.
  • Try not to order foods that are very messy to eat.
  • If you are not sure what to order, ask your host for recommendations!

Passing

  • Salt and pepper should always be passed together even when someone asks for only one.
  • Community food items (such as a bread- basket) should be passed to the right.
  • When passing items such as creamer or a gravy/dressing boat, pass them with the handle towards the recipient.

Cocktail Hour Specifics

  • Keep your right hand available to shake hands. You can have your cup sit on your plate to be able to hold both.
  • Do NOT overload your plate with Hors d’oeuvres or appetizers.
  • Be aware of your beverage, especially when alcohol is involved. Do not drink too much/too many.