When it comes to getting ahead in the business world, your skills and a college degree aren’t all you’ll need to succeed. You’ll also need a solid network of peers to teach you about the industry and introduce you to job opportunities. Business networking is the best way to make these connections. However, it’s not always an easy practice to develop if you’re a recent graduate who’s just launching their career. To help you navigate all your networking opportunities, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
5 Networking Tips for Recent Grads
1. Be a Friend
Rather than focusing on industry formalities and career goals, it is much easier to approach the networking experience as a friend-making activity. By presenting yourself as a friend, you will not only seem more genuine, but you will also leave a more memorable mark among your colleagues.
2. Reach Out to Those With Your Dream Job
Research people with the jobs you want now or within a few years. Reach out to these people and ask if they’d be willing to share their insight over a coffee or quick bite. Many established professionals will be flattered that you want their advice, and they may even be eager to help you get your foot in the door.
3. Look Into Alumni Resources
As a recent graduate, your university may have a lot of alumni resources that can help you build a career. Stay connected with your school’s alumni community, so you can find out about networking events, industry seminars, and online job boards that can help you get more in touch with people in your industry.
4. Prepare Before Meetings
If you’re meeting with a specific person, take time to review their work history and accomplishments. Before you meet, form a few questions that show how interested you are in their expertise. If you’re going to a larger event, brush up on the industry and come up with a few talking points that can help you start conversations with your peers.
5. Stay Polite & Connected
After trading business cards or meeting up for coffee with a colleague, reach out soon after the interaction. By sending a thank-you note or followup note to your new connection, you can help ensure that they’ll remember who you are. You’ll also help leave a positive impression that may help open doors for you in the future.
If you’re looking for networking opportunities in the St. Louis or Florissant, MO areas, turn to the Greater North County Chamber of Commerce. Supporting over 400 business entities in the North County region, this organization offers numerous resources to help both new and established professionals. In addition to business networking events, this Chamber of Commerce offers development workshops, fundraisers, and online resources to help grow the local economy. Visit the chamber online to learn more about their services and upcoming events. For questions about membership, call (314) 831-3500.