How to Network When You’re the Youngest One in The Room

How to Network When You’re the Youngest One in The Room


Our Experts | Erin McGinty, Recruitment Specialist
Erin McGinty

Erin McGinty, Recruitment Specialist for Alliance Scientific Solutions

I’m just going to throw it out there. Networking is awkward. Extremely awkward.

You’re probably worried about how you’ll introduce yourself and what you’ll talk about to keep the conversation moving. Do they want to talk to you? Do you even have anything to bring to the conversation? There’s no chance they’ll want to follow up and grab coffee, right?

I get it. I’ve been there. And from the other side, I’m happy to tell you: it gets easier (and less awkward).

Even if you’re the most outgoing person in the world, networking is uncomfortable. When you walk intro a room full of people you don’t recognize, you’re first (and the most natural) reaction is to find the first person you know and glue yourself to their side.

I recently attended a networking event where I knew there would be hundreds of new people for me to meet. There also was a big group of about 20 people from Alliance who I already knew that were attending.

The easy option would have been for me to go stand by my friends and have a good time. Instead, I took the less comfortable option that would allow me to meet new business connections. I went and sat alone at a table. I figured eventually someone would come over and talk to me. And someone did—actually, multiple someone’s came over to introduce themselves that night.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]When it comes to networking, the first and most important step is to just put yourself out there and be ready to talk to the people around you. [/perfectpullquote]

At first, it will probably just be small talk. Hey. How are you? What do you do for a living?

But then, you’ll find a connection. And the conversation is off as you’re talking about a mutual interest or experience.

You’ll learn something. And maybe there’s no immediate gain—you don’t get a new client, a job offer, or a new best friend—but you’ve been able to bring something out of the conversation, and you have a new contact who could help you down the road.

If you’re really worried about it—join a networking group and start practicing. There are groups specifically for young professionals—and no one will think twice about you being young and awkward in those networking meetings. Plus, after a few networking events in your specific industry or group, you’ll start seeing more and more people you already know.

If you’re still nervous find a mentor who will push you into uncomfortable situations that will help you to meet new people and grow. The more often you push yourself to network, the more comfortable the situation will become.

For me, it was one of my coworkers. She had me join the Cleveland Society for Human Resources and I went to a luncheon with her. She let me sit at her table and she introduced me to a few people. The very next meeting though, she sent me out to sit at a different table and meet new people on my own.

When you’re young and new in your career it’s easy to put networking off. But the reality is when you’re first starting off, that’s when you need to meet people and build connections the most.

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This One Thing Will Instantly Differentiate You From Other Job Applicants

This One Thing Will Instantly Differentiate You From Other Job Applicants

Employee Expertise

Karen Damm, Recruitment Advisor, Alliance Scientific Solutions

Karen Damm, Recruitment Advisor, Alliance Scientific Solutions

Our Experts | Karen Damm

You just hit the send key and your resume is on its way toward your next career opportunity, you’re sure to get an immediate callback, right? The hope is that the employer will read between the lines to see you are a perfect fit. But ultimately, it’s still just a resume and you’re not speaking directly to the position.

In today’s competitive job market, you really need to stand out from the thundering herd of people applying for the same positions. Don’t ever assume that the person on the other end can read between the lines and determine that you are fit.

With that in mind here is one tip that is sure to set you apart from the rest.  It’s something I call a “profile questionnaire.” Here’s what you do:

Read through the job description and pull out all of the keywords and major requirements

Open up a new word document and take a moment to address the “when, why and how” of each requirement. Give as many details as you can about how you’re a great fit for the position.

Attach it to your resume, like a cover letter or any other supporting documents, and send it on over.

It may sound daunting at first, but if you are niched in your space you will see that most employers in your industry look for the same qualifications, which means with minimal tweaking you will be able to use this tool over and over.

This truly is your opportunity to brag about your expertise. It’s better to define everything you’ve done in detail because the one thing you leave out could be what’s most important for the position. Ignoring that one specific skill or experience could cost you the job, and especially when you’re applying to a large company that’s searching through thousands of resumes for specific keywords.

Do this, and you’ve elevated yourself to the next level. You’ve tailored your experience and made it completely relatable to the job you’re hoping to land.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Applying with a Staffing Firm

The Do’s and Don’ts of Applying with a Staffing Firm

Job Search

So have you ever applied with a staffing agency and never got a call back?  Or if you did get an opportunity it wasn’t the right one?  Or are you in the job market place today and you’ve never worked with a staffing agency and you’re wondering how to apply with one?

Aaron Grossman, the President and founder of TalenLaunch,  shares with you the do’s and don’ts of applying with a staffing agency.


  • Research. Make sure you’re applying with the right agency for you! There’s basically two types of agencies:  generalist agencies and specialized agencies.
  • Interview. Make sure that you dress properly and discuss the positives and the negatives of your career path.
  • Follow-up. Once you’ve actually registered and applied and interviewed with a staffing agency, you’re going to be one of the thousands of people that are literally in a staffing firm’s database.  If you simply follow up, you will be top of mind.


  • Skills: Do not put skills in your application that you don’t have.  This can hinder the recruiter’s ability to find the right job for you and could lead to jobs that you’re not qualified for.
  • Desperation:  Times are tough and and we all know that. However if you come across as desperate, you may show the wrong motivation that could damage your career path.
  • Treat the staffing agency like your Employer: Treat it like an employer because that’s what they are going to be for you, they are going to be signing your paychecks when you land an assignment. So make sure that when you’re coming in for the interview that you’re treating it as such.
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