Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 162 | Life Skills Reading and Listening | Part II | One-Minute Interview

We have an entrepreneur and a networking expert who’s going to talk about a networking website to help people find the work opportunities they really want. No, this isn’t a personal interview, but an audio. The script is down below (or in the podcast), as well as a breakdown of the audio and a listening in regards to two people meeting for the first time.

Many young people don’t go to conferences and presentations. How should they start network?

For start, I’d recommend making the effort to join a club where you can find people with the same interests. I’d also suggest looking for voluntary work or helping out at community events for the same reason. Both these kinds of activities can potentially introduce you to useful contacts who might be impressed by your attitude and initiative. Even if you’re naturally shy, you should be able to make small talk about the things you have in common. Ask questions and listen attentively to the answers: you might be able to use any personal information to restart a conversation when you make contact again. And when you’re at an event, set yourself a target: decide how many people to talk to, and how many email addresses you’re planning to ask for. Even if you later decide that the contact isn’t worth following up, be courteous and email to say how it was a pleasure to meet that person. You never know — further down the line — an opening in their company may come up and you want them to retain a positive impression of you.

Is it worth taking a different approach and emailing someone at a company directly?

Yes, but make sure you approach the right person in the hierarchy. One way to do this is by searching for their LinkedIn profile; it’ll tell you what their current responsibilities are; and what they’ve done previously. it may even say what they feel passionate about — a good hook if you’re trying to find common ground. if you’re still not sure who you should be talking to, call the company, and ask them to point you in the right direction.

How can you make sure your email gets read?

No matter who you’re writing to, remember that everyone is busy. Therefore be specific about what you want. A vague ‘I’d like your help’ will see your email swiftly deleted. So decide before you reach for the keyboard what you’re asking for; perhaps a week’s work experience or an internship or a useful academic program. Keep things concise: you can always attach a ‘Further details can be provided on request’ line if you think it’s necessary.

How can you make sure you get a reply?

It’s human nature to want to feel important, so a bit of flattery can sometimes work. Explain to the person why you’ve selected them: admit you’ve researched their LinkedIn profile and been impressed by their awards, or you’ve noticed a recent project success. After you’ve sent the email, wait for a few days before following up by phone. Chances are you won’t be offered any immediate work, but it’s a chance to make a good impression. Some one-to-one live conversation will always do this more effectively than a chat between avatars. You can ask politely if they’d mind you staying in touch.

And what if things are going well — and the other person does want to extend the conversation?

I can’t stress enough that trust is vital, so however tempting it may be, do not inflate and embellish your achievements and qualifications, or you will risk destroying this. Show you’ve done research and impress the other person with your knowledge at the company and its products. A bit of enthusiasm can go a long way. At the end of the conversation, thank them for taking time out to talk to you. Most people will have some empathy for your situation: after all, they’ve probably been there themselves.

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