How To Network

Networking Guidelines

How do you network?

It is important to build your network while you are working or going to school full-time. Connect with colleagues and friends by sending them useful information. This can be done with a quick note and article citation or clipping. Or emailing the article and mention “I thought this might be something you may be interested in.”

Remember to send latest news of what’s going on at your company. Did you break ground on a new building or add a new wing of the library or receive a big grant? Does your organization send out holiday cards or e-cards? Send these correspondences to your network. Contact everyone in your network or related areas as well as those not in your field.

Collect and disseminate business cards when you attend lectures, receptions, conferences and committee meetings. Write the date, city and a brief note on the back of the card for future reference. A few days later follow-up with an e-mail mentioning something significant about meeting that person and that you will be in touch.

If you are unemployed make your own business card. This can be as simple as downloading a template from the Internet, filling in your name, address, phone number and e-mail address and printing on your home printer. You can also order business cards online ( i.e., Vistaprint.com – free to nominal fee) or from a local office supply store or stationary shop. [It is also helpful to include a blurb about your expertise on the business card. If you need additional space, create a bulleted list on the back of the business card.]

Another option to the business card is to create JIST cards (a mini resume) and distribute these as a networking tool. The JIST card is more detailed and larger in size than the business card. Take a look: http://hubpages.com/hub/Mini_Resume

People in your network can provide emotional support, offer feedback and provide information about organizations in your field.

Suggestion from a librarian ~ “Never meet a fellow librarian and not ask for a business card” and “always follow up with the people you meet by sending a brief hand written note or email.”

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Posted 4/14/11. Originally written for the American Library Association's Get A Job site, 2009.

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