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The Art Of Networking: How To Build A Professional Network As A Fresher

The Art Of Networking: How To Build A Professional Network As A Fresher

Edited By Rahul Shrivastava | Updated on Oct 25, 2023 03:29 PM IST

Successfully completing your graduation is a significant milestone in your academic journey. Now that you're stepping into the professional world, it's time to focus on building strong professional relationships that can shape your career and future.

Making professional connections is crucial for your personal and career growth. In this article, we will explore some effective strategies to help you build professional relationships soon after completing your graduation.

Networking: Start As Early As Possible

Networking is the cornerstone of professional relationship building. Begin as soon as you can; even before you graduate. You must attend job fairs, career events, and conferences related to your field of study. Do attend the events hosted by your university or college where you can meet professionals and alumni. Take full advantage of these opportunities to connect with individuals who can offer guidance, mentorship, or potential job openings.

The Art Of Networking: How To Build A Professional Network As A Fresher
The Art Of Networking: How To Build A Professional Network As A Fresher

Alumni Network

Your alma mater's alumni network can be a valuable resource for making professional connections. Alumni often have a strong bond with their alma mater and are willing to help fellow graduates. Join your university's alumni association and leverage the network for advice and job leads. Engaging with alumni is an excellent way to learn about career paths and gain insights into the job market.

> Online Networking

In today's digital age, online networking is just as crucial as in-person networking. Create or update your LinkedIn profile with a professional photo, an engaging headline along with a well-crafted summary. Start connecting with professionals in your field, including classmates, professors, professionals, and potential employers. Engage in relevant groups and discussions to showcase your expertise and interests.

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Be Genuine and Authentic

When building professional relationships, authenticity is key. Be yourself and approach others with genuine interest and respect. Insincerity can be easily sensed, so focus on forming real connections rather than viewing relationships only as a tool for opportunities.

> Talk About Yourself Briefly

Develop a concise and compelling para of yourself, describing who you are, what you've studied, your skills, and your career aspirations. Use it as an introduction when you meet new people in professional settings. Tailoring it to the target people and context can create a memorable and lasting impression.

Volunteering and Internships

Volunteering and internships are excellent ways to gain practical experience and build professional relationships. Seek out opportunities that align with your career goals. During your internship, make an effort to connect with colleagues and superiors. Engaging in meaningful projects and demonstrating your commitment can lead to long-lasting professional relationships.

> Mentorship

If you find a mentor during your internship, value and nurture that relationship. A mentor can provide invaluable guidance and open doors in your career. Approach potential mentors with humility and an eagerness to learn. Maintain regular communication and show gratitude for their support.

Attend Webinars, Workshops and Seminars

Continuing education through workshops, webinars and seminars is an effective way to expand your knowledge and meet professionals who share your interests. Look for events that offer insights into your industry and provide networking opportunities. These events can be great sources for making connections with people who are passionate about your field.

Social Media and Online Presence

Your online presence plays a significant role in building professional relationships. Maintain a clean and professional image on social media platforms. Regularly share insights and engage with industry-related content. This demonstrates your knowledge and passion to potential employers and peers.

> Content Creation

Consider starting a blog or contributing articles to professional websites. Sharing your expertise through writing or other forms of content creation can position you as someone keen into the respective field. It also provides an opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals who appreciate your insights.

Also Read | 7 Things To Research About A Company Before You Go For An Interview

Join Professional Organisations

Many industries have professional organisations that offer a range of benefits, including networking events, workshops, and conferences. Joining these organisations can provide you with access to a community of professionals who can help you grow in your field.

> Active Participation

Don't just be a passive member of professional organisations; actively participate. Attend events, engage in committees, and seek leadership roles when possible. These activities will not only enhance your skill set but also allow you to build meaningful relationships with like minded people.

Leverage Social Events

Building professional relationships isn't limited to formal networking events. Casual gatherings and social events can also be excellent opportunities to connect with professionals in a more relaxed setting. Engage in conversations, be a good listener, and take the opportunity to exchange contact information for future follow-up.

Follow Up and Stay in Touch

One of the most common pitfalls in networking is failing to follow up with new contacts. When you meet someone at an event or through an introduction, make sure you stay in touch with them via emails or messages. Express your gratitude for the connection and your interest in maintaining contact. Regularly checking in with your contacts keeps the relationship alive and can lead to future opportunities.

Seek Informational Interviews

Informational interviews are valuable for both recent graduates and established professionals. Request informational interviews with individuals in your desired field to gain insights into their career paths and the industry. Approach these meetings with a genuine interest in learning and establishing a connection rather than immediately seeking a job.

Be Patient and Persistent

Building professional relationships takes time, and not every interaction will lead to immediate benefits. Be patient and persistent in your efforts. Keep in mind that connections you make today may not yield results immediately, it takes time.

Offer Your Help

Networking is a two-way street. Don't just focus on what you can gain from your professional relationships; also consider what you can offer in return. Be open to helping your connections when they need it, whether it's through sharing your expertise, providing resources, or making introductions.

Building professional relationships soon after completing your graduation is a vital step in launching your career. While the process may seem intimidating, it's a journey that will ultimately shape your professional trajectory. By following the strategies outlined in this article, you can build a strong network of connections with those who can provide guidance, mentorship, and potential job opportunities. Remember to be genuine, patient, and persistent in your efforts, and your professional relationships will become an invaluable asset in your career development.

Also Read | How Networking Portals Can Land You Better Job Opportunities


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