It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
When it comes to jobs/opportunities, getting a foot or elbow through the door is often a two-person job – you, obviously, for your skills and talent, and an insider from your network who is happy to help wedge the door open for you.
Networking is an invaluable skill, one well worth learning if it’s not something that comes naturally to you. Networking business, friends and family is all super important – you never know if your mate might become the next Bill Gates! Networking for business is a valuable skill to hone as you advance towards graduation and career opportunities.
It’s important to look at the people in your contact list as, not only as great people and good mates, but your ticket to greatness and more career opportunities. Ask your parents, family friends or colleagues of your parents if they know of anything available. Don’t be afraid to ask if they will be referees on your resume, introduce you to a CEO or put you forward for a promotion when the time comes.
Here are some of our best tips for effective networking:
- Use LinkedIn to connect with the people you currently work with or business people you meet through work or uni. Pretty much if they offer you a business card, add them on LinkedIn.
- Check out networking nights your uni may have scheduled, as these are a good, semi-formal way to meet potential employers and make more contacts.
- Follow up after a networking event, to remind the contact of who you are and thank them for their time chatting to you.
- Bring a stack of business cards to swap with the people you meet. Even if you aren’t holding a grand position in a company or have even graduated, a sweet business card – Jane Doe, Marketing Graduate – will still do the trick.
- Be open, friendly and talk to as many people as you can – you never know who you will meet, and every networking encounter will boost your skills and confidence.