9 Essential Professional Networking Tips That'll Take You Far in 2021
Did you know that 46% of people get jobs from networking? By building professional relationships, people all around the world are finding their dream jobs and ideal positions. The great thing is that you can do this, too!
With a few of our professional networking tips, you'll be able to show the professionals that you look up to that you're the right one to call when a job position is available. Professional networking may seem out of reach at first, but there are a few great tips that we always share when asked how to go about networking.
So, if you're looking to learn some professional networking tips and tricks, just keep reading. You'll fit in in no time.
1. Flex Your Current Relationships
Before you dive into fifty new relationships, we ask you to evaluate the relationships that you currently have. There must be some professionals that you currently have contact with. Whether it's a family friend, a prior teacher, or another professional, you should consider reaching out to them.
Even if you aren't currently close to them, you could try rekindling that old relationship. You never know what kind of advice that person could give you.
While we're on this topic, we should cover another closely related topic: burning bridges. We strongly encourage you to never burn bridges.
Obviously, there may be situations where burning bridges is necessary. However, we urge you to avoid doing this as often as possible. You never know who you're going to meet again down the road, and a burnt bridge could end up stopping you from getting an opportunity that you want.
2. Use Social Media Wisely
Social media can be extremely helpful, as long as you're using it in the right ways. If you're using your social media to share your successes and achievements, you can accumulate a following of people who are excited for you and know just how hard you work.
If you aren't using your platform for positive things, you aren't using your social media properly.
Find a topic that you feel strongly about and use your Instagram to talk about it. Find a nonprofit that you like and post about it on Facebook.
Whatever your positive thing is, use your social media to boost it. Professionals will love how you're using your social media for positive change.
3. Take the Time to Listen
When you're talking with professionals that you'd like to connect with, it's important to listen to them. This may seem like a simple thing to do, but it is one of the most forgotten rules of networking.
It seems like students and young professionals get too excited and start talking more than listening. So, instead of receiving useful information, they end up sharing their life story with someone who is never going to want to be in the same room with them again.
4. Follow Up With Acquaintances
Don't forget to follow up with the acquaintances that you do meet. Sometimes, students and other young professionals will obtain contact information for professionals while meeting them for the first time.
Unfortunately, they rarely use the contact information. We strongly urge you to use the contact information and build a relationship with whomever you talked to.
It may be nerve-wracking, but it's important to build those bonds.
5. Ask Questions and Take Action
While you're talking with older professionals, you should take the time to ask them questions about their journey. It's important to show them that you're interested in learning from them.
While they're sharing advice, tips, and tricks, you should take mental or physical notes. You may want to do something they did or avoid something that they did wrong.
Whatever it is, having those notes will help you become more successful later. Basically, you should be taking action based on what your chosen professional is sharing.
6. Reach Out
Don't be afraid to reach out cold turkey. Even if you didn't meet a particular professional at a networking event, you shouldn't be afraid to reach out to them.
There are very few kind professionals who will turn down a private message or a personal email.
If done so kindly, a private message or an email can go a long way. Just take a deep breath and remember that the person you're contacting is merely human.
7. Attend Networking Events
Take the time to attend networking events. You may not feel like you fit in, but we promise that it will be worth it.
Assuming that you take the time to meet people and interact with professionals, the event will work in your favor. Plus, many businesses go to these events with the intention of finding potential employees. You could have a job opportunity waiting at one of these events.
8. Loosen Up
You need to relax. Professional networking isn't as pompous as television makes it seem.
Your tie doesn't need to be perfect. Your resume doesn't need to be laminated.
Present yourself nicely, but don't sweat the small details. You and the people that you're talking to are only human.
9. Work on Building Relationships
Lastly, we want to stress building relationships. Many people rack up contact information and never truly build relationships.
Without building meaningful relationships, half of the people you talk to aren't going to remember who you are. You need to reach out by making a phone call or typing a quick email.
Then, update them. Check in on them.
Do something to make these people remember you ten years down the line.
More Professional Networking Tips
Professional networking isn't easy, especially when television and movies have made it seem unattainable. However, we hope that you're feeling much better about your professional networking experience after having read our professional networking tips.
We wish you luck as you're navigating this new world of professionalism. We know you can do it!
If you're a young professional looking to get your first real job soon, we encourage you to read our post about how to get your first job straight out of college.