“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

We’ve all heard it before. It’s easiest to find opportunities through people you already know rather than a mass announcement. It’s true that who you know can help you, but there are plenty of ways to open doors for yourself without knowing someone off the bat. Networking is an essential career skill. Here’s are 4 networking tips for beginners!

1. Say YESnetworking tips 1

As often as possible, take advantage of every positive opportunity that is offered. Staying in all the time never did anyone any favors. No one will know your name if you never introduce yourself. You never know what even a simple meeting can lead to! Check out your college’s website for networking events.  Grab a friend and get out there. You have nothing to lose.

2. Be Professional and Politenetworking tips 2

This really shouldn’t need to be said, but being professional and polite should be at the top of your priority list with networking. Say please and thank you. Smile. A little kindness goes a very long way!  Make sure you dress for the internship or opportunity you want. Spending the money on one super sharp outfit will pay for itself ten times over.

3. Go the Extra Milenetworking tips 3

Don’t be afraid to add a little extra onto your normal interactions. Being organized, having copies of your resume handy and even a simple compliment can put you at the top of an employer’s list and help you be memorable.  Imagine scenarios before they happen in order to be prepared. Repetition is everything. Go to as many networking events as possible and learn from each one.

4. Put Your Best Foot Forwardnetworking tips 4

Do your best work in everything you do, even if you don’t think it will be noticed. Make sure you’re dressed nice in professional environments, even if you aren’t on the clock. Treat everyone around you with respect at all times. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because you never know who is watching or who has influence within a field.

What are your networking tips? Let us know in the comments below!