14 Strategies for Networking and Building Professional Relationships for Students

For some students, networking is a real ocean of opportunities, while it resembles a true nightmare for others! Why? Many struggle to present themselves correctly and don’t know how to build relationships step by step. However, networking is an integral part of career development. With the right approach, you can find like-minded people and get promising contracts and cooperation offers.

Despite the brilliant benefits of networking events, few of us prepare for them, and in vain. Following some amazing strategies, you will feel like a fish in water, no matter what circle of people you find yourself in. Thus, hurry up to send your homework assignments to an online essay writing services, take a notebook and dive into the psychology of networking together with us. We promise you – it won’t be boring!

Be An Active Listener

Let’s start with the basics. Most people at professional events talk about themselves, so the image of an attentive person will easily set you apart from the crowd. Ask smart questions and listen to the answers. No doubt, you will get plenty of useful information! And the first thing to remember is the interlocutor’s name, of course. This is crucial for maintaining further dialogue.

Research The Guests Of The Event In Advance

If there are people on the guest list that you want to impress (or at least meet), do some research. Study their interests, background, and the projects they are currently working on. Turn to Google and social media – they always save the day!

Discuss Common Interests

Common interests are a magic wand when establishing contact with unfamiliar people. To get to know a person and understand whether it is possible to discuss business issues with them, first try to find topics that unite you. Don’t rush to speak about your goals and professional issues. Once you understand who is in front of you, slowly move on to the main thing.

Ask Questions

According to many psychologists, people like to talk more than to listen. And in the case of networking, this gives you an advantage! Someone who prefers to talk about themselves also adores being asked about their interests, experience, and so on. It’s wonderful to feel that your background can be of particular interest to others. That’s why many come to events like this. Thus, ask leading questions and get your answers – it’s simple.

Be The Mediator

Don’t focus on getting to know all the guests at the event at once. On the contrary, let people know each other. When you start a conversation with a new person, think about which contacts can be useful to them, and try to bring them together. Intermediaries acquire new connections easily. Believe us, over time, people will approach you asking you to introduce them to someone specific!

Decide On Your Goals

People attend networking events for a variety of reasons. It could be finding a new job, making contact with potential clients, or just having casual conversations that help you improve your communication skills. Networking experts recommend setting goals clearly before going to an event. So that you can use your time more efficiently with a clear plan in mind.

Don’t Be A Seller

Agree; intrusive people who are selling their products or services all the time are super annoying! Remember – networking events are not sales webinars. They involve informal discussions of business matters. Thus, better not to turn pleasant communication into a sales pitch.

Follow The Gestures

We read body language all the time. So, be sure to keep open postures: head held high, straight posture, arms and legs uncrossed. This is a clear signal of your confidence and openness. Meanwhile, crossed arms or legs speak of your shyness and subconscious desire to avoid any dialogue!

Focus On Your Interlocutor’s Emotions

Instead of concentrating on your own experiences, study the psychological state of your interlocutor. Try to erase the emotional awkwardness and show genuine interest in a new acquaintance. People who demonstrate interest make a much better impression than superficial talkers fixed on themselves.

Don’t Interrupt The Conversation For A More Interesting Contact

The willingness to avoid a boring conversation for someone cooler is quite natural. Surely, there is nothing wrong with bringing the conversation to its logical conclusion. However, stopping the conversation abruptly and switching to someone “more interesting” is absolutely unacceptable.

Make Notes

At the end of the event, organize useful information by taking notes. Take a photo of the business cards you have collected and put them in the cloud storage. This way, they will be at hand any time.

Keep Promises Within 72 Hours

If you promise to contact someone soon, do so within the next 72 hours. A longer delay will be regarded as irresponsibility. Whether you promised to send the interlocutor a product presentation or a link to useful content, don’t forget to do it! Busy people really appreciate a follow-up.

Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

Spending more time in serious conversation with fewer people is better than having small talk with everyone at once. Indeed, don’t try to please everyone. After all, the final result is all that matters.

Smile

A smile is a sign of openness and confidence. Smile at ease and give others a signal that you are ready to communicate and make new acquaintances. It works on a subconscious level: when you smile, the body receives a signal that everything around you is okay, and thus, it feels relaxed. This is exactly what you need to gain confidence.

To Wrap It Up

And here is our last recommendation. Prepare a short presentation speech. Imagine that someone asks you: “What do you do?”. And you begin saying something weird, going into too much detail, or, on the contrary, talking about too general things. The interlocutor will quickly lose interest in you, and all your efforts to establish contact will be in vain.

Therefore, a short presentation will show how competent you are in a certain area, that is, will promote you as a specialist. It should be clear, concise, and engaging.

Remember: being effective in networking means going to events with a clear goal and plan, but at the same time, being able to behave naturally. With a little preparation and profound research, you can make a great impression and boost your career quickly!