SCHMOOZING the Relationship Connection

I’m sure you’ve heard that your career is as good as your connections. That’s right! Recruiting careers thrive on interested and interesting conversationalists.

Recruiters who talk easily and listen effectively tend to find contacts and speed down the fast-track sooner and more quickly. We’ve all been tongue-tied, at one time or another, but with planning and practice we can make every networking opportunity successful.

Here are some tips on how to sharpen your conversation skills and network like a pro:

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  • Meet as many people as possible at business or holiday functions.
  • Introduce yourself. Walk over to the person you want to meet, extend your hand, and tell them your name.
  • Draw out this person by asking open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a yes or no. Listen to what the other person is saying. Show them that you care.
  • Keep a lot of small talk questions handy (i.e., work, the weather, sports, “Do you follow __team, player, etc.?”) Don’t ever discuss politics or religion. Remember “schmoozing” is designed to advance your contact list, not your causes.
  • Skip doing business while networking. Make a date to meet for a drink or lunch to create and maintain a common bond.
  • Have the tools to network with you at all times.
  • Write notes on the back of the business cards you collect. Record anything you think may be useful in remembering the person more clearly.
  • Manage your time efficiently. Don’t linger with friends or acquaintances.
  • Follow up! Call them up. Make friends even when you don’t need them. If you don’t, you’ve wasted your time.

To the accomplished “schmoozer,” the next big networking opportunity is just a meeting away. Good luck!

Sande Foster is the director of sales and marketing for Prime Time Personnel in Parsippany, New Jersey. She has performed as a Human Resource recruiting and training specialist and executive coach in industries such manufacturing, banking, healthcare, nonprofit, retail and pharmaceutical/biotech. She enjoys an international reputation serving the needs of a wide range of client organizations worldwide. Contact her at