Networking For Students & Graduates…Here’s What You Need To Know! (2-2)

Stop asking “Do you have a job for me?” before doing this first!
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Read part 1 of this blog here

“Do you have a job for me?” can frankly be the worst opening line that kills your employment chances instantly, if you’re meeting someone for the first time. 

We get it, “How to network” isn’t exactly part of the university curriculum, so it’s understandable that the idea of networking with strangers can be intimating for you as a fresh graduate.

Students and graduates often mention that they don’t have a big network, while the reality is they haven’t activated the connections in their current network, leaving the quality of their network to deteriorate over time.

Think about it, are you that person who keeps asking for favours in your network, or do you reciprocate and add value where you can? It doesn’t matter how many people you have in your network if the connections are not genuine and mutual.

Networking for graduates has been covered in detail in all 4 chapters of The GradGate, and since we’ve elaborated on the importance of quantity networking in our previous post, here are some tips to strengthen your current connections (i.e. quality networking):

1. Check in

Reach out to your connections for no other reason. Every now and then, give them a quick call or send a simple message to know how they’re doing. It may sound simple, yet it’s surprising how many people don’t do it. Even saying hi through a mutual friend goes a long way in reminding someone that you’re thinking of them.

2. Celebrate with them

Celebrate wins and special occasions with your connections, whether they’re friends or new acquaintances. This can be in person or through a simple text. Comments on social media are another great way to express this.

Even if you’re not always the best at staying in touch with many of your connections, you still should do your best to send people good wishes on special occasions, such as graduation, marriage, promotion, Christmas, or any other occasion worth celebrating.

3. Happy Birthdays

Technically, birthdays are still considered celebrations, but they definitely mean more than that to the celebrant. For some reason, they hit differently. There’s such an inexplicable great feeling when someone greets you on your birthday.

So you know what to do here, a simple text once a year can make a big difference in the quality of your connections. So every morning, check Facebook and LinkedIn and send your birthday wishes (text or voice note) to your connections and see the magic.

Of course, such small actions won’t necessarily get you a job straight away, but you should remember that building a big and strong network is a long term project. Start today and yield the results of a strong network for years to come!

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