Recent grads with shiny new degrees. Mid-career professionals vying for new (or better) jobs. Retirees looking for a supplemental income. The value of professional networking is rarely outgrown — or overstated. Sure, everyone is on social networks these days, but there’s a big difference between knowing the perks of networking and knowing how to network effectively. Hint: Setting up an online profile and halfheartedly touching base with connections now and again probably won’t cut it.
Here’s a look at what will:
1. Cast a wide net. Connecting with former college classmates and colleagues is a solid way to begin building your network, but it may not be enough. You don’t have to hand your business card to every stranger you exchange pleasantries with on the subway, but why not think bigger than the alumni finder on your favorite networking website? CollegeFeed recommends touching base with a wide breadth of people, including former high school teachers, community and religious leaders, and even your friends’ parents. Networking functions are another great way to meet new contacts.