Networking is an increasingly important skill in the Information Age, and it can often help you get a job after college.
Because college students are meeting so many new people, college can be an excellent time for networking. However, a distracted student can also successfully complete all of college without building a strong network.
To make the most of your networking chances and develop your own network, follow the five tips below.
#1 Create Your Personal Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch, also known as a marketing message, is simply a short description of your company or, in this case, yourself. The term “elevator pitch” refers to the brevity – about the time of an elevator trip.
In networking, you will use your elevator pitch to quickly (in about one sentence) explain the who, what, when, where, and why of your personal career to a new acquaintance.
Every person should have their own descriptive, short elevator pitch ready at all times.
#2 Use a Professional Business Card
Even before you start looking for a job, you should design your personal business card.
Using a graphic design program or even a simple word processor, you can create a clean, simple card in minutes that will reap many long-term benefits.
When you print your card, go the extra mile to produce it on high quality paper. This card will be your representative, so you want it to look as professional as possible.
Always remember to keep a stock of these cards handy in case you meet someone new.
#3 Follow the 80/20 Rule
In order to build strong relationships, you need to understand how to manage a conversation in such a way that the other person feels important and honored.
To do this, try to listen about eighty percent of the time and only talk about twenty percent. Obviously, this will not always be possible, but it is a good goal.
#4 Remember Names
Another very important key to building a strong network is remembering peoples names. When you meet someone, take note of their name.
A person will be pleasantly surprised if you remember their name the next time you meet, and your relationship will be improved.
Improving your memory is an important part of building a strong network.
#5 Ask Open-ended Questions
Asking open-ended questions will help you get to know a person better, and it will also help you follow the 80/20 rule.
Ask questions related to your interests and career, and you will likely learn quite a bit from people you meet.
Since I like reading, I often ask people what books they have read recently. Through this, I have received many useful book recommendations.
Use open questions to build a relationship and to improve your learning.
What are your tips for networking?