Answered by Amy , Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on Wednesday, July 26, 2017
The first thing I would do is begin connecting with your colleagues. Those colleagues should be people you have met in real life and know you as an individual. You can also connect with those you haven't met in person but you know enough about them to be able to describe them to another person and vice versa. This boils down to your friends, professors, family, colleagues from past jobs, etc. Once you have assembled your "real life" network I would begin targeting those business professionals whom work for companies or industries you are interested in. However, I would look to see what intermediary connections you have with the individual your targeting (by going to the "How You Are Connected Tool) and connect with them to see if they would be willing to introduce you. This is why it is important for you to initially connect with those people you know because then they are willing to vouch for you because they KNOW you. This way you have a higher chance of connecting with your targeted individual because they were greeted by a direct introduction. As you continue to network in person, keep in mind that you can “connect” with individuals on LinkedIn after meeting them. This can help grow your network and continue building professional connections that could lead to opportunities later on.
Hope this helps!