The reading level for this article is Moderate

    There are two ways to get a job in today’s world.  You’re hired because of 1) "who" you are, or 2) "what" you are.  By that, I mean it’d be totally false to say that all jobs were offered on qualifications alone.  On the other hand, it’s just as naive to believe that jobs are appointed solely because of a relationship with the CEO.  Both of these factors play a role in how an employer views you as a prospective employee. This article talks more about how to make "who" you are more viable.

    While people may work hard to be "what" they are (college graduate with a four-page resume loaded with qualifications), they generally think they cannot help "who" they are (having friends in high places).  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Although you may not have an "Uncle Bill" high in the ranks of a company you want to work for, there are many steps and avenues you can take to put yourself in the best situation possible to be a member of "the club."  This trick, my friends, is called "networking," and it’s no real trick at all.  The following are some tips on how to network with the best using an old staple in the business world – the business card.

    As one of the oldest fixtures in the business world, the business card is an important networking tool.  It’s just as pertinent to collect them as it is to give them out.  The business card is the best way to end a conversation with a possible future employer.  "Well, it was nice meeting you and I hope we can stay in touch.  Do you have a business card I could have?"  Wow, that was easy!  Write down on the back of the business card where and when you met that contact and keep your business cards in a booklet.  When it comes time to start looking for a job, you can pull your business cards out and give them a ring.  "Hello Mr. Jones.  I’m Brooks Wood from NC State.  I met you at the College of Management Career Fair about 4 months ago."  Right there, you’ve got their attention.  They’re thinking, "Wow, this person remembers when and where he met me.  He means business."  So business card collecting is the first step to becoming a networking master.

This Social Entrepreneurship article was written by Brooks Wood on 5/10/2006

Brooks Wood is a singer/songwriter from Raleigh, NC with degrees in Marketing and Music from North Carolina State University. He fronts a Raleigh-based band, Brooks Wood Band ( and offers guidance and marketing consulting to other area artists and bands.