professional networking tricks: Build a strong professional network using these tricks
“Focus on building a professional network to access incredible job opportunities”, I said.
“I do follow a few companies on LinkedIn and Instagram. Now, do I have to slide in their DMs to send my resume?”, she responded.
That’s when it hits me – freshers are always told to establish a professional network but nobody tells them exactly how to do that.
Once you work for a few years, you organically form numerous connections that help you advance in your career. But can’t we do all that before our first job so that we don’t take years to benefit from a strong professional network?
Yes, there are multiple channels for college students to connect with experienced individuals as well as industry veterans, and engage in illuminating interactions. All they need is some guidance on where and how exactly to start. So, we have compiled a list of 5 ways through which you can build a professional network if you are about to enter the employment sector. 1) Start interacting from college days – A lot of freshers find networking a little intimidating. So they don’t want to land themselves in awkward social situations. However, once you start interacting with your professors, classmates and seniors, you learn to open yourself up to fresh ideas and opinions and gradually develop the habit of participating in conversations with new people. Besides, your professors can make you aware of the current industry trends and market demands, or simply guide you on how to plan your career journey. In addition, who knows, one day your connection with seniors or classmates may help you use them as a reference in your dream company.
Tip – Focus on building connections from the very first day of your college. 2) Participate in campus activities – College is the best time to grab innumerable growth opportunities. So make sure to participate in educational events and social activities, and enroll in any club of your interest. That’s one way to build your confidence, widen your spectrum of knowledge and, above all, make connections with influential people such as guest speakers and sponsors. Once they witness your abilities and skills, they will be more than eager to connect with you in the future. Along with this, stay connected with your cell placement to know more about job fairs, as that is one way to definitely bring home a long list of beneficial contacts from the industry.
Tip – Step out of your comfort zone and sign up for campus events.
3) Use social media, but appropriately – In the current highly digital landscape, social media is one of the most effective ways to form meaningful professional connections. All you have to do is make a list of the renowned names from the industry you wish to enter, and then follow them on platforms like Linked In, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Make it a routine to check their posts and comment on them. Also, you can send them a formal message on why you admire them, your career goals and abilities. Moreover, keep your profile up-to-date, especially on Linked In, and ensure that it displays your relevant skills and experience.
Tip – Never directly send your resume in the messages on social media before forming a proper connection.
4) Use internships to professionally network – Internships are treasures when it comes to building connections. During your college days or even when you are looking for jobs, you can do internships to not only hone your skills and gain experience but also to establish connections with the right people. In an internship, you already work at an organization. All you have to do is connect with as many individuals as possible – including fellow interns, trainers and managers. In addition, look for mentors and seek guidance as they can push you in the best possible direction for your career.
Tip – Make sure to maintain the relationships formed during internships
5) Contact your acquaintances to access professional networks – When you are planning to develop a professional network and you are a little hesitant to connect with new people, start by contacting some people you know, maybe family members.
Tip – Spread the word in your extended family about your plan to build a network.
Networking is a highly valuable tool for experiencing growth in your career, no matter which industry or field you wish to enter. Having said that, forming a strong professional network isn’t a piece of cake for freshers. It’s a continuous process that constantly demands your time and effort. Also, maintaining professional relationships is just as important as forming them. So, remember to always stay connected with your connections because who knows when you might need their help to grow in your career.