As a recent graduate, the prospect of networking as a business professional can be daunting. Establishing professional relationships as early on in your career as possible is crucial, so we recommend using your time wisely. Do your research, ask lots of questions, take notes and learn as much as you can from everyone you interact with to ensure optimum professional growth.
Here, we share some of our favourite business networking tips and techniques, from reaching out to past alumni to signing up for graduate mentorship programmes.
Effective Networking Techniques
1. Engage in Mentorship Programmes
Favoured by many as one of the most effective networking techniques out there, participating in mentorship programmes can assist you in building relationships with experienced professionals. Engaging in effective mentorship programmes also helps individuals develop a stronger sense of professional identity by recognising and achieving career goals.
2. Volunteer For Committees Within an Organisation
If you’re looking to showcase your talents whilst building meaningful professional relationships, volunteering for projects within a professional organisation is a must.
By volunteering within an organisation, you’ll be provided with the opportunity to demonstrate and develop your leadership skills and acquire relevant knowledge, all while expanding your professional network.
3. Utilise LinkedIn
If you don’t feel like diving straight into the deep end, LinkedIn is an excellent graduate networking tool, available worldwide. Connect with other business graduates, join groups and engage in discussions related to your field, all in the comfort of your own home.
Already a BGA member? Why not get started straight away by connecting with the exclusive BGA student and graduate members group on LinkedIn.
4. Reach out to Past Alumni
Reaching out to past alumni from your graduate programme is the perfect way to connect with successful business professionals who were once in the same position as you. One of the most effective networking techniques available to graduates, your course alumni will be happy to share valuable insights and tailored guidance.
5. Attend Graduate Networking Events
A great way to meet like-minded individuals and build relationships with business professionals, attending graduate networking events on a regular basis can be an extremely effective way to build life-long connections.
6. Attend Industry Conferences
As well as helping you to expand your knowledge, attending regular industry conferences can provide you with an invaluable opportunity to meet other business professionals and establish connections.
7. Help Others
As a recent graduate, there’s no denying that the majority of your time will be spent seeking the help of experienced professionals. However, it’s important to not underestimate your already present abilities as a future business leader.
Offering to assist your peers with their upcoming projects and initiatives can help you build connections, proving yourself as a valuable resource in the professional realm.
8. Participate in Training Sessions
Expand your knowledge and develop your professional skillset by participating in training workshops. Not only are these excellent achievements to add to your CV, but attending relevant training and development sessions is a great way to help you meet and connect with fellow business professionals.
9. Don’t Overlook People You Already Know
Has it ever occurred to you that the ideal networking opportunity could be right under your nose? Don’t overlook friends, family and neighbours – they might just be able to connect you with professionals who can open the right doors for you.
10. Maintain Your Relationships
Now that you’ve built your professional network, the most important thing you can do is maintain it. Keeping in touch with your professional connections is the most effective networking technique you could adopt. This could be as simple as keeping in touch through social media, organising meet-ups or posting regular updates on your LinkedIn.
BGA’s Business Networking Tips & Techniques
Whether you’re currently studying or are a recent graduate on the lookout for networking opportunities, at the Business Graduates Association, we’re pleased to offer a range of services, aimed to encourage professional growth.
Our membership platform gives students and graduates access to CV-building services, job searches, thought-leadership webinars and so much more. Plus, it’s completely free of charge for students and graduates from BGA member schools, not too sure if your school is a BGA member? Click here to find out.