Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Quick Tips for Effective Networking

           As we grow into our early to mid-’20s, networking becomes a fundamental part of our professional foundation. Networking has the capability to aid in where you work for your first entry-level position or where you lateral to several years down the road. In a time that has an increasing focus on work culture, relationships have become a large factor for hiring. Companies rather hire a candidate that has had several conversations with employees before an interview, than someone who is meeting the employees at the company for the first time. In the spirit of the multitude of networking guides and theories spread across the internet, here are three networking strategies I believe have performed the best in practice:

  1. Know why you are connecting with someone
    1. Yes, you are essentially connecting with someone in hopes of getting a job down the road. That is everyone’s end goal, but there is far more to making that happen. There is a difference between talking with someone, and connecting with them. If you come across as superficial, the employee will see right through this as they receive plenty of networking emails/phone calls each week. Be genuine, be yourself, and truly care about the person you are speaking with.
  2. Repetition
    1. You will never have the perfect networking formula going into your first networking interaction. Like anything else, it takes practice. Don’t get discouraged after one iffy phone call, but keep blasting out emails and putting in the reps. At the end of the day, it only takes one employee to guide you through the recruiting process and receive the job offer.
  3. Build a database
    1. As you explore into the depths of the networking world, it becomes extremely difficult not only to remember everyone’s name but what you spoke about during your last interaction. Keeping notes in an Excel or Word document is key to guiding the relationship further and expanding on what has already been talked about. Gather their opinions on topics and aim for an in-depth discussion. The ability to carry a strong, thoughtful conversation is what differentiates someone from the rest of the pack.