Don’t be a Rookie, Rookie.

If you have read my blog before this, you can tell, my passion is to help people. I feel that if I can help someone by passing down wisdom of what I have learned, the right person will appreciate it most. That is what this blog post is about.

In a dog-eat-dog world, it’s not about what you know–it’s who you know. Does experience count for something? It’s more like icing on the cake if you’re a match for a company that wants you. So how do you go from being a rookie to a professional?

Start acting like a professional. Rookies act like rookies. You can insert graduate, college student, or whatever adjective fits your current situation. I have noticed when you start acting like a professional, other professionals starts to notice.

Network like you mean it. Don’t go to an event just to collect and pass out business cards. You don’t know what to be that person. Go with a goal in mind. Last time, I called a friend up to fully commit myself in going and talk to three new people. (Only three?) Going is making progress in the right direction, but to be successful, I need to step out of my comfort zone. You should try to do the same.

Don’t be unique, be memorable. Everyone is trying to stand out. What do you see in your circle of peers? Think of way to stand out and be memorable is what is going to work in your favor.

Develop a brand about you.  If you are going into the communications field, this is a great way to start practicing your craft. Make a brand that makes you memorable to those you meet. Your brand should reflect who you are, so this goes hand in hand with the point above.

Make appointments with key contacts. When you network with someone, you are not instant Facebook friends. Connect with contacts on LinkedIn first. Your LinkedIn contacts will remain contacts until you take time to develop a working relationship. To grab his or her attention try sending an e-mail, tweet, or share something related to his or her industry once a month. If you see each other again, try to schedule a meeting to see how you two can help one another. Sometimes the other person might be able help you more than you help them, but connect with the intention to be helpful and learn.

If you get a meeting (not an interview) from a contact, always call 24 hours in advance you can make it. This is a reminder to the other party, you are coming and for them to clear time for you.  When I confirm the appointment, I call or leave a brief message. Afterward, I write a brief follow-up e-mail. Sometimes e-mail is faster for a response but not the only way to communicate. The morning of the meeting, check your e-mail again and listen to any messages. You don’t want to have a misunderstanding.

What has helped you up your game? If I can help you, tweet to @IamRachalT and I’ll be sure to do what I can. Good luck out there!