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18 April 2018

How do you network?

You always hear about how important networking is; if you meet the right people and leave a good impression, it could even land you a great job.

How do you network?
How do you network?
  • Learning: Having a cup of coffee with someone in your chosen industry is a great way to explore and gather information and insights about on the different jobs and careers available – an ‘insider’  view. This could help you decide between jobs and to be more convincing to employers when you apply for work. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people tend to enjoy talking about themselves and their jobs so it’s okay to be a little nosey: find out what they like about their industry, what they don’t and how they got to this point in their career.
  • Communicating: When it comes time to job hunting, the idea of promoting yourself can be daunting. But stick with it as practice makes perfect. Exposing yourself to a business environment and meeting new people will build your confidence as you learn the best ways to sell yourself and talk to different types of people. In time, reaching out to people and introducing yourself will feel natural.
  • Recommendations: The more people who know who you are, the better. You never know who someone knows. Make sure to take advantage of every connection you have, even if they aren’t directly in your industry. If you make a good impression they may help put you in contact with someone who is. Putting yourself out there will help you gain referrals that could lead you to your dream job.

Finding contacts

Remember to keep an open mind. Opportunities can come from the least expected places and you could end up speaking to people from organisations and job roles that you might not have thought about before. Even if you are sure about which industry you want to apply to, those working in other areas will still have some insight or advice that could be useful to you. Make use of family, friends, school, university and previous employers to find helpful contacts. Social media is also a powerful tool, follow companies and high-profile people you wish to work for and become part of their community. Being connected through social media gives people an immediate reminder of their relationship and allows for direct communication.


A key opportunity to make new contacts is at events, either put on by your University or externally. Attending conferences, events, fairs, open days and workshops aligned with your interests and job aspirations is good for your career. It is a great way to gain confidence by meeting and networking with a range of different employers and recruiters; as well as an excellent opportunity to find out about graduate opportunities. To find opportunities in your community browse event listing websites such as Eventbrite and Meetup. You can also check out company websites, as organisations often run their own events and list the details online.


Get your questions ready

If you are heading to a networking event or have organised to meet with a new contact, make the most of your time by having some questions ready. Research the company and your contact beforehand to make sure you are asking questions that haven’t already been answered. Possible questions to ask are:

  • What does your typical day look like?
  • What aspects of work are the most (or least) satisfying?
  • What is the typical careers progression in this field?
  • Are there particular qualities that distinguish those who progress in this field from those who do not?
  • What is the future of this field in terms of new and expanding opportunities?
  • Could you suggest any useful sources of information about this work?
  • How competitive is the job market? What would a well-qualified candidate look like?

A mistake people can often make when they network is to treat the person they’re networking with as a recruiter, however, networking is a two-way street. Let them know what you have to offer them, asking questions such “what do you need help with?”.

First Impressions

First impressions count, remember to:

  • Dress professionally.
  • Arrive early, giving you time to collect your thoughts before the meeting or event.
  • Work on conveying a positive manner. Be open and enthusiastic and avoid fidgeting.
  • Develop a firm handshake, look the people you meet in the eye and sit up straight.


Following Up

Networking should be the start, not the end of making a connection. This is often the stage where students don’t take full advantage of a connection, perhaps because they are shy or don’t want to bother someone. However, following up with a connection will help you stay in contact with that person and help develop the relationship.

  • A day or two after the event, take the time to email those you spoke to.Thank them for taking the time to talk to you, include something that helps them to remember you and reiterate your interest in their organisation.
  • Remember that when you make an application or get invited to interview, you can refer to this contact as someone who has inspired you, further showing your dedication to the organisation.
  • If you have a career success, or you have another question for them, email them again, reminding them how they specifically helped you and what you have done since meeting them.
  • Most people you meet with are happy to help you. If you are applying for jobs or have an interview in their area of work, reach out to them for any advice that could help you stand out. They will have a lot of insight in to the future of the industry or the company you are interviewing for that can help you stand out.

Tools at King's Business School

  • Upcoming King’s Business School events can be found on our website and are always included in our bi-weekly newsletters. Often these events put aside time specifically for networking between students, alumni and business people.
  • Check on the website of your university Careers Centre.
  • Student societies such as King's Business School Business Club are not only are a great place to meet fellow students, they often put on events with business people in their selected industry.
  • King's Entrepreneurship Institute put on regular events and workshops welcoming guest speakers from start-ups from around London.

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