Networking in general can be difficult, especially if you do not know how to do it. As you enter into the post grad stage of your life, it is important that you begin making the right connections to help you further your career and open up new opportunities for you.

One of the things that college does not necessarily prepare you for is heading out into a networking situation and meeting the right people. Knowing what to do, what to say, and where to go will help you go a long way once you step foot into the working world.

Below, we will go over some of the ways you can learn how to better network as a post graduate student.

Talk to People You Know

Always talk to the people you know first and ask them where you could find employment or if they know of any places that are hiring. It helps to let others know the types of positions you are looking for as well – that way, your friends and relatives can keep their eyes and ears out.

Another great person to talk to is your professor. They often know of places that are hiring or they know of different networking events that you can take advantage of. It never hurts to ask.

Know What to Say

You should always have an idea of what you are going to say BEFORE you begin networking. It is not wise to go into an event and not know what you want as this will look bad on you. Simply sit down, think about what you plan to say, and how you will say it.

Your short pitch should be to the point and about you and what you are after. If you currently work for a company or have ideas, you can represent them at this time as well. Since you will only have a minute or two to hook your audience, make sure you cover the important highlights about yourself. You will have time later to go in depth. One grad was so good at networking that he met President Obama! Click here to read the full story.

Go to a Networking Event

If you have never been to a networking event before, you may be overwhelmed at first. There are practices that should be followed and you will need to get used to simply going up to everyone and introducing yourself. Know your place and then know where to go from there.

It is also important that you remain confident throughout your talk as the employer will be able to pick up on whether or not you doubt yourself. In addition, many of the people who attend these events are higher ups in companies including CEOs, Presidents, and similar.

Practice Makes Perfect

When you decide you want to attend a networking event, make sure that you practice for it prior to the big day. You can visit online forums or even attend local networking practice events that allow you to work on what you plan to say, how you plan to introduce yourself, and more.

At these practice events, you will have the opportunity to talk to bosses and coworkers from local businesses and they will be able to help you with your speech and how you approach people at the networking event.

Avoid Your Phone

It is important that you avoid your phone when you are at a social networking event. Nothing looks worse than you sitting in a corner texting instead of talking to those who took their time to come out to the event. If you do need to handle something important on the phone, make sure you step away from the event cordially.

If you are looking for help when it comes to networking after you have graduated, it is important that you take some time to learn more about it and how you can make the most of it. The above five tips will help you get through your first networking event. Remember, you always want to make a good impression and meet as many people as you can while you have the opportunity.