Cleveland State University

Career Services Center


Job Search Strategies
The Art of Mingling

Mingling or working a room - where meeting and greeting people you may or may not know in a business or personal situation - takes thoughtful preparation.

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Below are some strategies:

  1. Embrace a positive attitude. Enthusiasm and a smile go a long way toward making any event more pleasurable. It is extremely diffcult to mask a negative attitude - even if you plaster on a smile, it will show in your eyes and the inflection in your voice.
  2. Focus on the benefits of the event. Know what you stand to gain from leaving your home or office and working a room. These can include meeting new people, exchanging conversation and bringing back some business cards to expand your network of contacts.
  3. Plan your self-introduction. The best are energetic and pithy - no more than 10 seconds long. They include your name and a tag line to tell others who you are, why they should remember you and something to spark the conversation. Your self-introduction should vary depending on the circumstances.
    • Don't be afraid to use a little humor.
    • During the self-introduction, speak clearly and look people in the eye.
  4. Check your business cards. Bring enough so you don't have to write your name on a used napkin. If you want to give your card to someone but they haven't asked for it, ask for theirs first. Most people will respond in kind.
    • Do not pass out cards indiscriminately. Cards should be exchanged following a conversation during which rapport has been established. Ask yourself first, before handing out your card, if you want to maintain contact with this person.
  5. Prepare your small talk. Prepare at least three pieces of small talk. It could be a statement, a question or a pleasant self-revelation such as a local sports team, the organization for which you are meeting, or the weather.
    • Remember the old advice about avoiding controversial subjects like religion and politics is still true.
  6. Remember eye contact and smile. A roving eye gives the impression of an insincere, hand-pumping Mr. Brown-noser. Too much eye contact may constitute glaring and could be considered rude.
  7. Practice the handshake. A handshake is the business greeting in America. Make sure that yours does not become too limp, a knuckle breaker, or a finger squeeze.
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Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, RW 280
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
Rhodes West, Room 280
1860 East 22nd Street
Phone: 216.687.2233
Toll Free: 888.CSUOHIO

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