During spring semester, 100 Northwest University students had the pleasure of networking with 30 of the top business professionals in the greater Seattle area. Below are the seven top tips to help you network like a pro.
1. Be Patient.
Patience is an integral part of the networking process. You should approach networking with patience and persistence, knowing that your efforts will pay off. As you build and invest in relationships with others, you will begin to see the fruits of your labor.
“Be patient. No farmer ploughs and plants their field and expects to wake up the following week to a new crop!” – Kirk Anderson, Managing Principal, ActionPointe, LLC
2. Be Confident.
Confidence is key. When you are confident in yourself and believe in yourself, other people notice. This shows them that they can believe in you, too.
“Be confident and be yourself!” – Carly Goosman, Director of Recruiting, Pacific Capital Resource Group, Inc.
3. Serve Others.
In order to make the most of your networking efforts, it is important to seek where you can serve. This means networking with people in industries that are consistent with your passions and being willing to serve them. It is important to remember that networking isn’t one-sided; people will be more willing to help you when you have something to offer them in return.
“Be intentional about wanting to serve the individual with whom you are meeting. Do not put your agenda first.” – Levi Davenport, Director of Career Development, Northwest University
“Seek where you can serve, in places and with people consistent with your passions.” – Martin Barrett, Sozo Friends
“Networking is all about building mutually beneficial relationships. If you want to build a powerful network, you need to be willing to give value first with no strings attached.” –Alejandro Reyes, Director of Digital Media, Northwest University
4. Reach Out to the People You Know.
A powerful tool in networking is using the connections of people you know in order to expand your reach. You can do this in person by asking around or online through social networks such as LinkedIn.
“Utilizing those we know is a powerful tool for networking. LinkedIn is a wonderful resource for this.” – Sabrina McGurr, Director of Client Relations, Asset Management Strategies, Inc.
Scheduling a meeting with a business professional is only half the battle. It is important to do an ample amount of research prior to your meeting in order to make it worthwhile for everyone involved. Research allows you to ask meaningful questions that will show the other person that you value and respect them and their time.
“Research the organization completely before the interview.” – Trooper Jonathan Lever, Recruiter, Washington State Patrol
6. Ask Questions.
Building on the last tip, asking others meaningful questions shows that you are driven, interested in their industry experience, and prepared in advance for your meeting. Enter every meeting with a list of prepared questions.
“Asking lots of questions regarding the job shows drive and interest from the applicant.” – Trooper Jonathan Lever, Recruiter, Washington State Patrol
7. Follow Up with a Handwritten Thank-You.
Nothing shows appreciation quite like a handwritten thank-you note. Reaching out to say thank you via email or other online platforms is easy and immediate, but not as personal. Set yourself apart and send a handwritten thank-you note within 24 hours of meeting with someone.
“Nothing says ‘thank you’ quite like a thank-you note. Emails are easy, but handwritten thank you notes take time and effort. Sending a handwritten thank-you note is a surefire way to set yourself apart.” – Jess Larsen, Social Media Coordinator, Northwest University
We hope these seven tips help you with your networking efforts.
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Posted on Thursday, June 19, 2014