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How not to network: Rule #45,788

Rule # 45,788: What do you do with a list of names? Talk to the people whose names are on the list.

A current 3L suggested that if students are to use the CPDC "What did you do last summer?" list that they understand what its purpose is and how they should use it.

"I--along with many of my classmates--have been contacted by 1L's and 2L's who want us to blindly recommend them for jobs at our firms without ever having met us or even discussed why our firms interest them.

“While we all are eager to recommend UMN students, we need to at least be sure that we are recommending someone who can carry on a conversation! All that would be required is to agree to meet for lunch or coffee, but most students who have used the list do not want to do even that.�

He urged us to remind students that “3L's with job offers have a surprising amount of influence in their firm's hiring decisions.�

And, this is the Kiss of Death use of that document, “I've also had one student drop my name at my firm without telling me. When the firm asked me about him, all I could say was that I didn't even know he was applying.�

LESSONS # 45,788 and 45,789:

45,788: You wouldn’t expect a blind date to pick your children’s names and china patterns, so should you not expect someone who doesn’t know you to recommend you for an interview or for employment.

45,789: Never, ever use someone’s name as a reference without specifically asking for permission. You have embarrassed a person who in the future might have been a good reference or professional pal. You look stupid. And the “non-referring reference� will remember you forever, and not in a good way.