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From BBQ to Referral: How Your Next Summer BBQ Can Land You a Job Lead

New York, NY June 14, 2017 - Whether you’re on a beach, near a pool, or one of those few lucky people who have a “summer home”, chances are you’ll be at a BBQ this summer. Besides splurging on that extra helping of potato salad, why not use the time to help your job search too?

Lindsey Plewa, Associate Director of Career Advising at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business who has provided career coaching to thousands of people, states that even the most unlikely situations can yield the most successful results.

“Savvy job seekers will use every opportunity, even unconventional ones such as summer BBQs, to network,” said Plewa. “In fact, people often have more time at casual, social events and may be more open to career-related conversations.”

Plewa provides three top tips on getting started and keeping up the momentum to land that next job.

#1 Get the word out.

How many friends and family members know you’re looking for a job or thinking about pursuing a new opportunity? Your close circle would love to help; they just need to know how. Identify two or three of your target companies to give them ideas. Even if your Uncle Jim is a retired high school teacher, his childhood friend may be in a senior role at your dream company. Get the word out and you’ll be surprised at how quickly it will lead to opportunities.

#2 Keep it light

Being good at networking doesn’t necessarily mean speaking to everyone in the room or at a BBQ. The best networkers are often those who project a friendly, confident and positive attitude. We all like being around those kinds of people, right? Keeping it light and upbeat, especially at a summer social events, is key to a fruitful conversation and possible job lead.

#3 It’s all about what you do after the BBQ

“I’m constantly surprised at how many job seekers work tirelessly attending networking events, and then don’t follow up on networking leads,” said Plewa “A summer BBQ or an organized professional networking event is just the initial touchpoint on securing a job lead.” What you do after is what really matters. If Uncle Jim offers to put you in contact with his childhood friend, follow up a day or two after. Thank him for the offer to connect you, and ask what’s the best way to get in touch with the contact. Also, after making the connection, remember to keep Uncle Jim in the loop. Hopefully, you’ll soon be treating him to dinner after getting a job offer from his friend.


Lindsey Plewa, Associate Director, GCMC, Zicklin School of Business

Lindsey Plewa
Associate Director, Graduate Career Management Center, Zicklin School of Business

Lindsey Plewa has coached thousands of students on how to successfully navigate a job search for over 10 years. She is currently the Associate Director of Career Advising at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College.  She holds an MA and two professional certificates, one in Adult Career Planning and one in Leadership Skills, from New York University.


About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 18,000 students, who represent 164 countries and speak more than 129 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to


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