It’s graduation season and the time of year when newly minted grads will pound the pavement looking for their first job.

It’s also a time when I get lots of calls from friends and colleagues asking me to talk to their son, daughter, niece or nephew, whomever in their life at this point, about a career in communications, PR, or starting your own business.

I am happy to have these conversations but more often than not, they are frustrating and a waste of my time.

And that’s because people aren’t networking respectfully.

Here are three tips for how to do that well.

  1. Do your homework. Take the time to learn about the person. Google the person, look at their LinkedIn profile and social media. Understand who they are so you can have a meaningful conversation.
  2. Ask good questions. You can only do this if you’ve done the first step.  Ask about the industry they are in, their journey, and how they made certain decisions.  Don’t blab on about yourself.  A sales trainer once told me, “If you are talking, you aren’t selling.”  Questions lead to connection and insights.
  3. Say thank you. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve spent an hour with someone and never get a thank you.  Send an email within 24 hours of your conversation, expressing your appreciation and highlighting something they said that meant something to you.  Sad to say, people who write thank you’s stand out because so few actually do it.

Follow these three tips and you will be on your way to that job you want because you are networking respectfully.