We all know the importance of networking when it comes to job seeking. Maybe you know this from experience or from a professional development class or from your know-it-all uncle who is constantly reminding you: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
I know a few MBA candidates who have been required to attend mandatory networking events to brush up on their schmoozing skills. Students learn the importance of eye contact, exchange glad-handing tips and go head to head against each other in timed business-card-collecting competitions.
While these formal networking exercises seem a bit superficial, business logic suggests that a stellar resumé means nothing in a world where being unconnected results in being unemployed.
Unfortunately, this is bad news for introverted folk who do not excel at small talk with strangers. I might have plenty to say in writing, but social networking in real life is an entirely different story. My idea of “working the room” is nibbling on appetizers and hiding in a corner with my smartphone until it’s appropriate to leave.