In This Section:
BALANCE ONLINE AND IN-PERSON INTERACTIONS
Many students today rely largely on electronic/technological means of communication, research, and applying for jobs/internships. While it may be easier to interact with a computer than with others face-to-face, it won’t ever replace your need to develop stellar communication skills to start interactions, build bonds, and maintain relationships. E-mails and texts cannot replace in-person communication; plus, they are easy to ignore or even to misinterpret.
Finding common ground comes from having a conversation or discussion on the phone or in person.
Personally connecting through human interaction accelerates relationship-building. The energy that passes between people finding out that they have a hobby, favorite class, peer or life experience in common can be profound. In 10 minutes speaking face-to-face you can learn more about someone, and they about you, than in months conversing online. For example, if you meet online and strike up an online connection that has value and interest to both parties, then taking it offline is going to enhance the relationship and help it progress. If you meet in person, staying connected online is going to further develop the relationship. This is especially important if you meet through an externship, internship, or a professional conference and are geographically separated.
APPROPRIATE/EFFECTIVE USE OF ELECTRONIC/SOCIAL MEDIA for NETWORKING
We have already reviewed the critical in-person skills and preparation that many students need to develop; now we will review very valuable tools to balance and complement the traditional networking tools.
Protect your professional identity online; make sure your status updates, photos, and blogs present the professional image you want to convey to potential employers and contacts.