Top 3 Networking Tips for New University Graduates

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Networking can sometimes feel forced, contrived, or simply transactional. And for newly graduated university students making their way in the world, that can make it awkward or nerve-wracking to meet people and make new connections. New graduates from a top university in San Francisco usually want to find a high-paying tech job right out of school and in many cases, they need help doing it. Fortunately, it isn’t hard to get the help they need with the proper networking methodology. Networking does not need to feel daunting. Building a network to help you on your career journey can be intimidating, but knowing how to approach professionals and build connections is a powerful tool to help you find the perfect career.

According to analytics put together by a LinkedIn research team, in 2020, students from four-year colleges with successful job hunts averaged 114.5 new connections during that full, year-long period. This represented a 17% increase from their connection rate in 2019 when we were living in pre-COVID times. In a remote work environment, graduating students may feel more pressure than ever before to ensure that they find and network with the right people.

Every successful business person or ambitious employee has various beneficial relationships. Not only does it help them find job opportunities or hire industrious and capable people, but it also helps them maintain their success. That’s why we’ve put together a helpful list of five essential networking tips to help students successfully navigate the post-graduation landscape. These are important considerations as students finish their studies and plot their initial career moves.

1. Use Age as an Asset

Right after high school or college graduation, students may have a comparatively undeveloped reputation. And while their youth viewed through the lens of experience may be a liability, it is an asset when viewed through the prism of productivity, motivation, and longevity. Young professionals are eager to show themselves as an asset to the organization. Finding a good job and keeping it can be tough in an unstable world with constantly changing economic conditions. As such, young workers tend to show a high level of motivation and productivity. And graduates from top universities in San Francisco already know the environment in Silicon Valley is tough.

It is also important to remember that people are less understanding later on in one’s career. There will be certain expectations of workers as they mature and gather experience. So it is important that they leverage their moments in youth to network, make friends, and establish relationships. Networking events are beneficial, as are trips to the local coffee shop. One should be outgoing and shouldn’t be afraid to introduce their talents or talk about who they are and what they want to do. Science has proven that it’s harder to make friends and network as you get older. In this case, one shouldn’t let youth be wasted on the young.

2. Make Friends and Establish Bonds

While some may point out differences, it can be said that networking is really nothing more than making friends, establishing bonds, and creating relationships. Whether it is with people in a school, work, or home environment - as one networks effectively, friends are made. For those who have landed a job in their chosen profession but want to make connections, a natural way to network is simply to make friends with co-workers and employees at other companies in their field at various events.

The relationships one makes as they make friends and network can ultimately be more valuable than the relationships made at their job as they climb the ladder. Their peers can be the first ones to think of them when there's a job opening, the ones to help them or give them ideas if they encounter some professional dilemma and they have no idea what to do. Personal and professional peers should be ignored at one’s peril. These relationships can be just as important as any others.

Young people are disproportionately impacted by economic crises. And in many cases, they know. As a result, they have a higher level of awareness when it comes to the relationships they create. The people one invests in can play a big role in the overall trajectory of their life.

3. Take Advantage of Opportunities at Events

It's easy to sign up for networking events for the sake of signing up for networking events. One shouldn’t do a thing simply because one can. Careful thought and consideration must go into post-academic career planning. And events should be a part of that planning. The whole purpose of events, conventions, and meet-ups is to bring people together. Aspiring, recently-graduated career professionals should take full advantage of the opportunities afforded at networking events and other professional get-togethers.

Yet, rather than leveraging these opportunities, many people sign up for an event only to find themselves wandering aimlessly through a deserted networking wilderness. Don’t sign up for networking events willy-nilly. The only events that deserve attention are ones that provide legitimate employment or other career-advancing opportunities. Sign up for events attended by desirable employers that are looking to hire people, especially the newly-graduated. One should focus more of their time on what connections they can build through their existing relationships (friends of friends, friends of parents, family friends, etc.). And here at SFBU, we put a focus on helping our students find and maintain healthy relationships

We are proud to offer an alumni portal that contains links to all sorts of events. One can also find links to the various alumni clubs, such as the Easy English club. We also routinely advertise community events right on the front home page of our website. For more information, contact us today at 510-803-SFBU (7328).