By Marian Schembari
Hopefully you know by now that networking is the only real way to land your dream job. But are you doing it right?
Last week, I experienced the ultimate networking experience. Let's say hello to Ginny.
Ginny emailed me a week ago. Her subject line was, "I think I love cupcakes more than you." She got five points in my book right off the bat. See, on my blog's "About" page, I talk about my cupcake addiction. So, Ginny clearly knew who I was and had read my blog, wrote a personal email to me (she didn't copy and paste) with a fun touch instead of trying too hard to be overly professional. Ginny said that she too was an American who had recently moved to New Zealand and was looking to get into digital marketing/social media. She knew I was busy, but asked if I would mind meeting up to tell her a bit about what I do?
Her email was short. Just four or five sentences. Another five bonus points. Because her email was so charming, I said yes. Plus, it's rare to meet other Americans in New Zealand, so it was really a treat for me!
She got another five points by being flexible with her schedule. I said that I was busy and could only meet Friday afternoon. I chose a cafe right next door to my office, and she didn't complain about having to come to me. Instead, she researched the location, arrived early and offered to buy my coffee.
Then, she simply blew me away with her charm. She asked questions and talked about her experience, and I told her a bit about my day-to-day. She was professional without being stuffy and was clearly looking for a job but never shoved her resume in my face or demanded an interview. She was clearly and genuinely interested in my industry and career and listened to what I had to say. Another five points.
She didn't keep me for more than an hour. She respected my time. THEN, she ended by giving me a little gift. She brought me a cute notebook with a cupcake on the cover. Plus one million points.
The next day, I woke up to an email from her thanking me for my time and TELLING ME EXACTLY HOW I HELPED She puffed up my ego and made me feel good about myself without brown-nosing.
Over the past two years, Ginny is the only person I've ever met who has really impressed me.
More often than not, people network like this:
1. Cold emails that they send to anyone and everyone.
2. They expect people to have hours of time to devote to helping people they've never met.
3. They send through their resumes before you even get to know them.
4. When you do help, they never thank you.
What kind of networker are you? Do you make these mistakes, or do you really personalize the experience? I bet you 40,000 points that if you network like Ginny, you'll be just fine.
Marian Schembari is a blogger, traveler and all-around social media thug. She's based in Auckland, New Zealand, hails from Connecticut and blogs at www.marianlibrarian.com. This is an excerpt from Brazen Careerist.
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