Be Sure You Know What You Want When Networking

Sing writes:
I will graduate college this month. Recently a relative gave me a contact number
to a vice president of a company and asked me to call him to ask for any opportunity in
his company. My questions are below:

  1. I called that person for 3 days but I still couldn’t reach him. I left a
    message said that I would try the next day. What should I do?

  2. I feel weird asking for any job opening to someone that I don’t know. If that person
    asks me what kind of job I would interested in doing I might stumble and not know
    how to answer. I could say I can do anything but I am afraid he will think that I don’t
    have a goal in my career. How should I handle this kind of situation?

The Career Doctor responds:
We’re certainly at — or beyond — crunch time for college students gradating this spring — and who
want a job by graduation.
And your best bet for finding a job is through networking such as in your situation.
I hope you are also attending career fairs checking with your career services office
and even targeting specific companies where you want to work. Just a reminder that
the Internet should be a very small part of your job search.
To your first question. You’ve done the right thing. You could leave your phone
number too but it is appropriate that you will keep trying to reach him. I would not
take it as a bad sign yet; he could be out of town. If you have other contact information
for him such as a cell phone or email you might consider sending a respectful message
through those routes. And when you leave a message remember to keep it brief
stating in the first few words who referred you and stating why you are calling. Keep it
that simple.
Your second question is all too common — and you are correct you do not want to
sound too desperate or unfocused. Only you can answer this question but if you don’t
have an answer to it I suggest immediately doing some career research and assessment.
Employers want prospective job-seekers to be focused on specific jobs — while identifying
the key skills that make you a more attractive candidate than others applying for the same position.
Get more help in the College Student
Recent College Grad Career & Job Resources
section of Quintessential Careers.


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