After a business management program or similar training, you may hear from mentors and people in the field that networking is important for career success. The better you are at staying in touch with your community of contacts, the more chances you have to learn about opportunities and collaborate on ideas.
In many careers, it helps to know others in the field, as employers enjoy hiring people they feel they can trust. This could be true in something like a career after massage therapy training, where you will work on a team and directly with clients.
Recognizing the importance of a network is the first step, but where should you begin if you want to build one? Learn about the strategies you can use and opportunities you can take advantage of to network with qualified people in the field you are entering after graduation. These people can become your community and act as valuable resources and support. Read on and continue your journey towards success!
Essential Networking Tips for Recent Graduates
Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a good way to brand yourself.
It’s a short summary of how you are and what you want to accomplish.
- Summarize who you are and what you do in 30-40 seconds
- Highlight what you can offer and your value
- Have a “hook” to keep the listener interested
- Show that you can help the person just as much as they can help you
- Being friendly helps make connections naturally
- This is particularly useful once you’re in your profession
- The relationships you have offer you camaraderie
- Having peers is good for motivation and mental health
The best networking connections appear effortless—relax and enjoy meeting people!
Be Interested in Other People
- Genuine interest is a great way to bond
- Interest helps you connect
- You can learn from others by asking questions
- Improve your listening skills
- People respond well when you show interest in them—it makes them like you!
Fun Fact: You can read body language to better understand how people are feeling—open palms convey honesty, while raised eyebrows can point to a feeling of discomfort.
- Ask for informational meetings or 15 minutes of coffee chat
- Remember the worst that can happen is someone declines
- Approach professionals who are interesting and valuable to you
- Confidently ask questions
Perfect Your Handshake
- Face the person squarely
- Give firm pressure without squeezing too hard
- Maintain confident posture
- Maintain eye contact
Good eye contact can help breed feelings of trust.
- Share with others rather than selling yourself
- Speak in a casual way
- Be yourself and show your personality