Whether you’ve just finished high school, undergrad, or a postgraduate degree, networking is a priceless habit that will propel you toward continued success. Online and in-person networking skills are both relevant in today’s digital age. Consider some of the following recommendations for learning how to network gracefully and effectively.

Edit Your Resume

A well-formatted resume is like a brief elevator pitch––succinct, informative, and intriguing. When you are connecting with potential colleagues you want to impress them with your credentials. Sharing your resume is appropriate during job and internship searches, academic program applications, and casual networking with professionals.

Do your best to fit your resume on one page, and keep the formatting simple. Proofread and correct any grammatical or spelling errors. If you don’t yet have any work experience, highlight your education and volunteering efforts. Include a section for special skills and top everything off with a personal statement that describes your aspirations.

Improve Your Online Persona

Any online accounts you have should reflect your greatest qualities. Potential employers and college admissions counselors may conduct online searches to get a sense of who you are. Think about creating a LinkedIn profile to showcase your skills and experience. Using LinkedIn, you can also connect with your peers and start conversations with individuals who work in fields that are of interest to you.

While it’s perfectly okay to have private pages where you post about your personal life, be sure to clean up your public profiles for a more professional online persona.

Introduce Yourself at Events

Attending face-to-face conferences is perhaps the best way to make yourself known. Recruiters, researchers, and collaborators love to see how you interact in small group situations. Remember, networking is all about the strength of the relationships you build. How might you express yourself honestly and enthusiastically when the opportunity arises?

Don’t hesitate to walk up to someone and introduce yourself. No one is too far out of your league! The only way to form a new connection is to take initiative. Show the other person that you are assertive, passionate, and communicative.

There are countless networking tools available to you, no matter what level of education or experience you currently possess. Focusing on the staples, like a streamlined resume and a friendly LinkedIn profile, is a great way to gain confidence in yourself. Once you have written down all of your incredible talents, going out and pursuing new career connections will feel like an absolute cakewalk. Have fun, and good luck!