Networking Tips for Postgraduates in London

The idea of networking can be a terrifying prospect to anxiety-ridden graduates, especially those who are more introverted by nature. Learning to master the art of networking can quite literally change your career, and as a by-product – your life.

Nobody should miss out on the abundant opportunities that networking can provide and that is why we are here to give you the ultimate guide on how to become proficient in networking.

Benefits of networking

Networking refers to the process of building and maintaining professional relationships with people in your industry or field. It can involve attending networking events, joining professional organizations, or connecting with people online through professional networks or social media. The benefits of networking are invaluable.

It can help you to raise your profile and increase your visibility within your industry or field, learn about new job opportunities, share ideas and collaborate with others, and increase your confidence and self-esteem. It’s an important aspect of career development and an essential tool for graduates to build a successful career.

Networking Tips

Networking can be challenging, especially if you’re new to it. It can feel overwhelming to introduce yourself to strangers, make small talk, and try to form connections that can benefit your career or personal life.

However, with some tips and practice, networking can become a more manageable and even an enjoyable task. Here are a few strategies that can help you overcome your networking jitters and make meaningful connections!

Sharpen Up Your Interpersonal Skills

Networking is an essential skill for any professional, but it can be intimidating for many people. However, it’s important to remember that employers are seeking good natured people for jobs and being a good person can be just as important as having the right qualifications.

Building and maintaining relationships is key to networking, just like in your personal life. To be successful, you’ll need to have good people skills, such as confidence and humility. While confidence is crucial, you need to be careful not to come across as overly confident or arrogant. Humility is also invaluable, particularly when you are networking with those who have mastered their craft for years or even decades.

Show your willingness to learn and interact by asking questions. This will maximise the opportunities that networking can provide. By developing your people skills, you can make valuable connections and advance your career.

Be aware of body language

This may petrify some, but perception is everything in the professional field. Not only how you present yourself, but also your body language. Body language can showcase your confidence levels before you’ve said a word so make sure you are mindful of your body language and presence. To simplify things further for you, here’s a body language do’s and don’ts list:

– Don’t slouch, keep your back straight and your shoulders out.

– Eye contact is so important. Although, eye contact can be incredibly awkward for some, it is also a significant indication of how confident you are. If you can look someone in the eye whilst engaging in what they’ re telling you – they can gage how invested you are in what they are saying.

– Even if you’re nervous, resist the urge to fidget with your hands. If you are sat down, place your hands together on your lap, if you’re stood up you can hold your hands Infront of you, or leave them by your side, or even behind your back if you want to look extra formal.

– Avoid crossing your arms. This can make you look closed off, unapproachable, or nervous.

– As patronising as this will sound, don’t forget to smile! Although professionalism has an air of seriousness embedded within, it does not change the fact that we are still human beings, interacting with other human beings and smiling is desirable and contagious. Think about how you feel after you’ve met someone who is smiling, conversational and kind. You leave feeling uplifted and like that person has left a positive imprint on your day. That is the energy you want to bring to the table – it will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on those you’ve conversed with.

Know your current connections

When it comes to networking, it’s important not to dismiss your current connections. This includes friends, family, professors, colleagues, and classmates. You never know who might be able to open a door or make an introduction that could lead to a valuable opportunity.

Connecting with these people on LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch and expand your professional network. However, it’s important to remember that networking isn’t just about reaching out when you want or need something. It’s also essential to keep in touch regularly and build genuine relationships with your connections.

By nurturing your current connections and staying engaged with them, you can increase your chances of success in your career and personal life.

Talk to strangers

When attending networking events, it’s important to ignore the advice you were given as a child to not talk to strangers. While it may be tempting to stick with your friends, doing so can limit the effectiveness of your networking.

Going in big groups can also be counterproductive if you’re planning on making new connections. To make the most of these events, it’s important to break the ice with someone new. Start by introducing yourself and asking about their background or interests.

It’s also helpful to have a few conversation starters ready, such as asking about their thoughts on the event or the industry in general. By stepping out of your comfort zone and engaging with new people, you can expand your network and open up new opportunities for your career.

Have a purpose

Having a clear purpose beyond just “networking” can make it easier to connect with others in a more natural way. By focusing on a shared interest or goal, you can build genuine relationships with people who share your passions and values.

This can also make networking less intimidating, as you’ll be less focused on meeting new people and more focused on pursuing your purpose. Whether it’s attending an event related to your industry or joining a community organization, having a clear purpose can help you connect with others on a deeper level and build relationships that can benefit you personally and professionally.

So, before you attend your next networking event, think about what additional purpose you can bring to the table and let it guide your interactions.

Be interested

When attending networking events, it can be tempting to try to come across as interesting and engaging to others or to try and sell yourself to potential employers. However, it’s often much more effective to focus on being interested in the people you meet.

By showing a genuine interest in their experiences and perspectives, you can build stronger connections and learn more about potential opportunities. People naturally like to talk about themselves, so asking thoughtful questions and actively listening can help you stand out from the crowd.

Of course, it’s still important to have an elevator pitch or introduction prepared in case you’re asked about yourself. But by prioritizing your interest in others, you may find that networking becomes a more enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Practice makes perfect

When it comes to networking, practice makes perfect. It’s completely normal to feel nervous when attending your first few events, but don’t let that deter you. The more you go to, the more comfortable you will become with introducing yourself and striking up conversations with strangers.

Experiment with different types of events, such as industry conferences, local meetups, or online forums, to find what works best for you. Remember, networking is a skill that can be honed with time and experience. So don’t be too hard on yourself and keep practicing.

Don’t expect too much too soon

It’s important to remember that networking is a long game and not to expect too much too soon. The end goal of networking may be to land a job or career opportunity, but it’s not going to happen overnight.

Networking is about building connections and relationships with others, gaining knowledge, and exchanging opinions. It’s important to keep in mind that these connections take time to nurture and develop, so it’s essential to approach networking with a long-term perspective.

Building a successful network requires patience, persistence, and dedication, but the rewards can be significant in the long run. Don’t get discouraged if results don’t come immediately, as networking is an ongoing process that requires time and effort.

Follow up

Following up after networking is a critical step in building relationships with new connections. Once you’ve made a connection at a networking event, it’s important to follow up quickly to solidify that connection.

Consider sending an email or connecting on LinkedIn within a day or two of meeting someone new. In your follow-up, remind them of your conversation and express your gratitude for their time.

You might also ask a question related to your conversation to keep the dialogue going. Another way to follow up is to celebrate your connections by engaging with their posts or sharing relevant information.

These small steps can help you stay top of mind with your new connections and keep the conversation going.

Networking in London

London is an exciting city with plenty of opportunities to network with like-minded professionals. If you’re a postgraduate looking for networking events, there are a few regular events that you might want to consider.

The Young Professional Network hosts regular events in the city that could be worth checking out. To find out about other events, websites like Meetup, Eventbrite, and LinkedIn can be useful resources. It’s important to choose events that are relevant to your industry or interests.

Additionally, make sure that you are prepared to make the most of the event by having a clear purpose and elevator pitch. So, do your research and get out there!

In today’s competitive job market, networking is a crucial part of building a successful career. By building connections, gaining knowledge, and finding out opinions, you can open up new opportunities and create a strong professional support system.

For more career tips and other topics related to postgraduate life in London, be sure to check out our study and career section at and stay connected. And remember to secure your ideal place to live and book your student accommodation in London with us today.

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