WRITTEN BY: MADISSON DELISLE
Each year, universities host more and more events that involve networking with people in the professional world. Following up with the people you connect well with will allow you to keep those connections strong and beneficial.
As we’ve mentioned before, a thank-you note goes a long way. Thank-you notes are not just for after you’ve interviewed with someone, they can be used to thank anyone you’ve met at an event as well. After the thank you, one of the first things you should do is connect with those people on LinkedIn. How you continue to follow up afterwards will depend on the situation.
Career fairs are some of the largest events for networking on campus; hundreds of recruiters flock to campus in the hopes of finding the right student to fill their open position.
There are 2 great ways to follow up after a fair:
- Research the company: update yourself on what their company is working on, what outside activities the company might be participating in, or what their focus is currently. Then strike up a conversation via email, LinkedIn, or phone call!
- Submit your resume: draft a polite email asking them to take you into consideration. Though you have given them your resume already, this extra step will guarantee that you don’t get forgotten in a shuffle of papers.
Professional Networking Nights/Mixers
Whether you’re studying business, engineering, education, health sciences, or something in between, there is a good chance that your school will put on a networking night with professionals from that area. These are great events because they alleviate the stress of job searching, and put you in a slightly more casual and comfortable environment.
Whether you do it by email, LinkedIn, or phone call, here are a couple ways you can continue your relationship with your connections after the event has finished:
- Ask for advice/Ask specific questions: emailing or calling the people you connected with to ask for advice or questions about their specific job role or industry will give them a chance to talk about themselves and their experiences while providing you with valuable information. This will also show your full interest in that field.
- Continue to stay in touch: keeping your connections strong will help you once you start in the work force. They can provide ideas on where to look, how to stand out, and sometimes who to talk to for opportunities.
No university’s academic year would be complete without some sort of alumni event. Often times, current students are able to attend such events, and this is an opportunity you should jump on if and when it is presented.
Networking with alumni can sometimes be similar to networking at the professional mixers; however, the huge difference is that these professionals have been in your exact shoes before. If there is an alumnus you really connect with, make sure to get their contact information and ask them if you can stay in touch. Then, follow up in the same ways you would with a professional you met at a mixer – just make it more personable and leave time for reminiscing on their college days.
Always follow up! You never know what great opportunity you could be missing out on if you let a great connection disappear.