Your network is so important in your professional life because it can help you take advantage of opportunities that are not available to everyone. In Hawaii, this is especially important, and in the words of marketer, Porter Gale, “Your network is your net worth.” Here are some important tips to keep in mind to be an effective networker:

  1. Use LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the best and fastest-growing social networking platform for professionals. It is important that you utilize this resource to expand your network and reach. You can connect with professionals in industries you are interested in and message them for a future connection. Be sure to:
    • Keep your profile updated
    • Include a professional headshot
    • Be wary of your activity and what you post
  2. Prepare a Personal Brand Statement. As you begin to expand your network, it is important that you prepare a short 60 second spiel of who you are to share with your new or potential connections. This will help you put your best foot forward and set yourself apart. This statement could include:
    • What makes you unique
    • What you are passionate about
    • What you do better than others
    • What an organization will value about you
  3. Attend Networking Events. Networking events like the career fair, volunteer events, student organization meetings, and so many more, are a great way to put yourself and your face out there. Here are some tips to succeed at these events:
    • Wear appropriate attire (modest business wear)
    • Find out in advance who will be attending, and do your research (Look them up on LinkedIn!)
    • Bring a business card with your name and contact information
    • Make eye contact, greet with a firm handshake
  4. Utilize Your Current Network. Referrals are a great way to meet people you might not have had the chance to. If you know a friend, relative, classmate, or co-worker who can get you in contact with a professional in your field, that would be a great way to break the ice and expand your contacts.
  5. Join Professional Organizations and Clubs. Joining a professional organization is a great way to meet people with the same career interests as you. It also gives you the opportunity to learn from them and attend any networking events associated with the organization.
  6. Reach out to Professionals/Professors for Informational Interviews. Ask for a quick chat over a cup of coffee or even a Zoom. So many professionals just want to give new professionals a chance to learn and grow. They may even become a valuable mentor.
  7. Example Networking Questions:
    • What projects are you working on?
    • What do you like most (least) about work?
    • What does a typical work day/week look like?
    • Do you have any advice for someone wanting to get into this field?
    • Do you experience any challenges balancing work and personal life?
    • What experience do you think is needed to be successful in this field?

Check out these links for more tips!