Networking might seem tasking to most people, and that's because to them, it completely sucks! Many students would prefer to be swallowed up by the ground to meeting a new person or group of people at an event. Despite the difficulty, networking is an effective way to put your foot in the door and climb up the corporate ladder. For college students and recent graduates, it might be the only way. The popular phrase "it's what you know that matters and not what you know" is certainly true. It's better to begin building your network before you graduate but if you've graduated, it's not too late to begin.
So how do you go about making new one or two connections at that seminar, conference, symposium, workshop, lecture and internship program?
Dress well and appropriately
Admit to yourself that you'd be uncomfortable, and then relax
Approach stand-alone individuals or infiltrate groups of three. The individual might be as shy as you are!
Find a common topic to talk about and let the conversation flow naturally
Exchange phone numbers and social media usernames
That is all for the day! However, effective networking that can land you your dream job takes more than just a new LinkedIn connection or a new Twitter follower. Effective networking requires constant follow up. How do you follow up with your new connection?
Send a Thank you message
Sending a thank you message after a meet reminds your connections of you. Your message should centre around things you mutually love or about you trying out a suggestion (such as an interesting book).
Send a follow-up message 2-3 weeks later
Most people don't generally go beyond the first message. A second follow up message 2 to 3 weeks later is a great way to cement your new relationship.
Implementing these strategies can certainly help you come out of your shell. With your new connections, you are more likely to get your desired job, and faster too!