How to Break into Networking: Tips & Tricks

We all keep hearing how important networking can be for our careers. So important, in fact, that personal referrals now account for the greatest percentage of job placements. Who you know matters – but how do people go about meeting all of these amazing connections in the first place? 

We have pulled together a few good tips that can help you start shaking more hands and sharing contact information. 

Join a Social Media Group

Thanks to the far-reaching hands of the internet, it is incredibly easy to connect to people with similar backgrounds or interests today. Facebook and LinkedIn both have thousands of industry-specific groups. Many will require that you share some information before you are accepted, this helps ensure that the group is limited to industry professionals.

Once you are in, you can quickly get a sense for whether the group will be worth your while. If it is, thoughtfully and regularly contribute to the conversation. Share your knowledge and chime in with thoughts and advice. Do not be afraid to ask questions.

Sign Up for Local Industry Newsletters 

If you want to increase your chances of actually meeting valuable connections face-to-face, you need to think local. Many national associations have local branches. Do some digging and sign up for local newsletters or e-newsletters that pertain to your industry. Keep an eye out for event calendars and meetups. 

Volunteer Your Time

This one is really a win-win. You get to spend some time giving back to a worthy cause, while potentially demonstrating your knowledge or skills in a certain area. You gain experience while getting an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals. At the very least, this is something that will look good on your resume, so either way it can benefit your career path.  

When You Meet Someone, Follow Up

If you follow the above tips, it will not be long before you meet someone who works in your industry or shares a skillset. If you had a great conversation, do not wait to reach out to them. Connect with them on social media – LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter are probably your best bets. By sending them a brief message, your name and background will stick in their mind, plus you will have established a way for them to contact you in the future. 

Networking Can Happen Anywhere, Anytime 

The dream job that you land six months from now could result from the neighbor you meet down the hall, or the conversation you have with your sister’s boyfriend’s cousin. The point is, making connections – however unlikely they may seem – can have big payouts. You never know how the relationships you build today can affect your prospects tomorrow. So be open to anything and everything. 


Photo by HIVAN ARVIZU @soyhivan on Unsplash

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