The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

May 28, 2019

Networking Tips for Recent Graduates

Going to networking events and building a list of industry contacts is a key part of advancing your career. As a recent grad, you might have networked a little at career fairs, but true networking events aren’t only about finding potential work opportunities. Following the tips below will ensure you walk in knowing everything you should, feeling confident, and make the right impression.

It’s more than a career fair.

While career fairs are set up for you to meet companies and recruiters to find your next job, networking events are so much more. You may find new opportunities, but you also could meet future business partners, connect with potential clients, or find mentors who keep in touch throughout your career.

Don’t be afraid to make the first move.

Walking into a room full of entrepreneurs and established professionals can be very daunting when you haven’t networked before. It may feel instinctual to wait for someone to approach you but going out of your way to introduce yourself will show that you are confident and ready to connect.

Have a game plan and be intentional.

The networking event will most likely be focused on a specific industry, so you know you’ll be connecting with those in the same field. Before the event, do some research on current events in your industry so you have a smart conversation starter and don’t get stuck in small talk for too long.

Be clear about your background and your goals.

The phrase “elevator pitch” implies you only have a few seconds to make a good impression. While it is important not to ramble, you want to be clear and include details to ensure the person you’re networking with understands what your previous experiences are and where you want to go.

Show your interest in the person you are talking to.

You might think discussing business should be your top priority, but it is also important to get to know the person you are networking with. Asking about their interests and passions and creating personal connections will make you more memorable when reaching out later.

Get contact information and follow up later.

Networking conversations tend to be about 5 minutes, but you don’t want to lose your connection once you walk away. Before attending, make yourself some business cards if you don’t already have some and reach out a few days after the event to solidify the connection.

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