Networking is all about building professional relationships with people. It’s a skill that is not formally taught but is extremely beneficial. Building a strong network is a great way to find new opportunities for professional development, get career advice or even secure an internship or job.
Utilise Social Media
Social media is one of the easiest ways to find people you want to network with. The main platform I recommend for networking is LinkedIn as it’s made for professional networking specifically, however you may also find people on other social media apps such as Instagram. It’s important that you work on building a strong profile on LinkedIn. Make sure you add relevant experiences and skills to your profile. This will make it easier for people with similar interests to connect with you online.
Reach Out to People
If you’re looking to learn more about a particular field, you’ll need to reach out to people with experience in that field. Reaching out can be quite scary if you’ve never done it before, however, if you send a genuine message to people of interest, you’d be surprised by how many people will respond to you. The first step is finding people to contact. If you’re interested in an industry or job role, just search on LinkedIn and so many people will appear in the results. If you’re not sure where to begin when contacting people, you can filter your search to alumni of your university as you already have one thing in common that you can talk about.
Once you’ve come across somebody you would like to connect with, the next step is actually reaching out to them. Before sending a message, research their background, have a look at their LinkedIn profile and tailor your message to them so they know exactly why you’re contacting them. Here’s an example of a brief and direct message template that you can use to initiate a conversation with someone new: