Eight Tips for Admins to Successfully Network In-Person and Online

March 4, 2024


Professionals networking & shaking hands.

Networking is an important skill for administrative professionals. It opens the door for career growth, relationship building, learning new skills, building a supportive community, and professional development opportunities. Plus, it can be fun to meet peers in your career who have similar goals and understand your role’s successes and challenges.

While some people find it stressful, the benefits of networking can be professionally transformative. We’ve compiled eight networking strategies and tips to help empower you to successfully participate both in-person and online!

In-Person Networking: Strategies for Attending Events

If the thought of walking into a room of strangers scares you, you’re not alone. In-person networking, which can be found at ASAP’s annual APC and EA Ignite conferences, can be daunting, especially for introverts. But the best way to get comfortable with professional relationship building is to practice. 

Once you’ve found a local group to network with, here are some strategies to help get the most out of your time.

Tips for In-Person Networking

1.  Decide your goal for attending

Are you looking to make new connections? Find a new job? Learn a new skill? It’s important to decide what you want to achieve from the event before arriving.  

2. Prepare a short elevator pitch 

Each person you meet will likely ask you some version of, “What do you do?” or “What are you looking to accomplish?” So, it’s important to practice how you’ll introduce yourself and share some information about your role, skills, and goals. 

Here’s a framework for a simple pitch you can personalize and make your own. Remember to practice saying this out loud a few times to build your confidence!

Hi, I'm [Your Name]. I’m a [Job Title] who works in the [Industry] industry where I [Role Responsibility 1], [Role Responsibility 2], and [Responsibility 3]. I have [X] years of experience in [Skill 1], [Skill 2], and [Skill 3]. I'm currently hoping to [Goal].

For an administrative professional in the finance industry, this could sound like:

Hi, I'm Jun Lee. I’m an Executive Administrative Assistant in the finance industry where I support three executives with coordinating meetings, analyzing budget reports, and managing projects. I have 5 years of experience in calendar management, Microsoft Excel, and Asana. I’m looking for opportunities to connect with other administrative professionals in the finance industry. 

3. Take your business cards

Always take a few business cards that have your name and email, phone number, portfolio link, or LinkedIn URL on them so contacts know where to reach you. 

If your job doesn’t supply business cards, consider creating a QR business card, which allows people to scan your personalized code and add your contact information directly to their phone. 

4. Focus on building genuine relationships 

Rather than exchanging as many business cards as possible, focus on the quality of conversations. One way to do this is to practice actively listening to those you meet and showing interest in their experiences and expertise. 

Keep a few questions in your back pocket to facilitate meaningful conversations, such as:

  • What part of your role do you enjoy the most?

  • What professional goals are you currently working toward?

  • What inspired you to pursue a career in [their role or industry]?

  • How do you stay up-to-date on [their industry] trends?

  • What advice would you give to someone [starting out/wanting to advance in/trying to switch to] your industry or role?

5. Follow up with the professional relationships you make

This can be as simple as expressing appreciation for their time and conversation. Or, it can be following through on making an introduction, sharing a resource, sending additional information, or coordinating a time to continue the conversation.

Virtually Networking in Today’s Digital World 

In today’s digital age, virtual networking is a convenient way to maximize professional growth and success. But how can you get started with online networking?

There are several platforms to consider for virtual networking, including LinkedIn, Meetup’s virtual networking groups, and ASAP’s own Circle Community.

Tips for Professional Online Networking

6. Choose the platform(s) that makes the most sense for your industry

Do some research to find out where your peers are online. LinkedIn is popular for business professionals, but there are also Facebook groups dedicated to workers in specific industries, Reddit communities that focus on other industries, and associations for every industry and role.  

7. Maintain a professional online presence

Whichever platforms you choose, make sure your profile reflects your professional values:

  • Use a professional headshot for a profile photo

  • Add your job title, industry, and current company, where applicable

  • Only share valuable, work-appropriate content that is suitable for a public audience, such as an update about a promotion, learning a new skill, attending a professional event, or sharing a useful resource or article

  • Do not share any confidential company information or sensitive personal information

8. Personalize connection requests and messages

On LinkedIn, you’re able to send connection requests to a variety of people. However, to initiate meaningful connections and conversations, it’s best to only send requests to people you have already met, such as at an in-person event, or have a professional connection with (ex: being in the same association or attending the same virtual training).

There may be instances where you’ll want to connect with someone you don’t personally know yet. In this case, digital etiquette means including a short message that introduces yourself and explains why you think it makes sense to connect. 

Time to Expand Your Professional Network

As you now know, in-person and virtual networking are both important for your professional development. Remember to focus on creating and maintaining authentic connections with your professional community.

Next, check out Google’s admin tools that can help streamline your workflow.

More useful tools

Join the Conversation

Welcome to the ASAP Circle, a community platform for peer-to-peer conversation on trending topics, professional challenges, and shared experiences. We even have designated spaces for weekly Tuesday Coffee Breaks.

Start Connecting Today!

American Society of Administrative Professionals

Producer of

APC  EA Ignite