By Ken Molestina

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — We’ve all heard the word “schmooze” before, but do you know what it really is about?

Cody Lowry, the author of “Schmooze; What They Should Teach at Harvard Business School,” said, “Schmooze is about a winning smile, it’s about making a great first impression.”

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He says the art of schmoozing is especially important nowadays when the job market is competitive, and since so much of pre-employment interactions are taking place virtually.

He added, “Psychologists tells us we have 30 seconds and then people start making a judgment about us”, and according to him that also applies to first meetings done over webcams.

Lowry is offering three tips that can help a job seeker master the schmooze and make themselves stand out while looking for work in this pandemic era.

He said first of all you have to look and dress the part.

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Lowry added, “I tell people you can never be over dressed and look like you’re ready and that you respect the person that is doing the interview.”

Second, establish common ground, he said. “They expect you to know about the company and they expect you to maybe to know a little bit about the person who is interviewing you.. I have actually won business going and you can win a job like this too when you know more about that person more than other candidates because you get on a common ground.”

Lastly, he advises people to always prepare and never wing it, “It’s so very important to be able to get up in front of people and actually speak.”

He says knowing how to schmooze is a useful tool, especially for younger generations entering the workforce who many times are not as verbally engaging or expressive as older job seekers.

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Lowry said, “I think schmoozing will be part of what people need to do whether we have a pandemic going on or we’re all out in a big parade or gathering or whatever.”