Business Fundamentals: Effective Networking

The Open University Business and Finance

Target Audience

This course is intended for anyone looking to enhance and develop their professional network in order to open up opportunities and strengthen their professional relationships. The course does not require any previous experience of studying networking.


Networking is a fundamental business skill, which will help you take control of your career. Understanding the benefits of business networking, and how to overcome common networking barriers is a valuable skill.

This online course introduces the principles of effective networking, which will help develop your personal brand.

You’ll learn how to analyse the value of your existing connections, and find out how to create and manage your digital presence for networking on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. You’ll also learn how to write an elevator pitch and get feedback on it from the course educators.

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments. Additionally, this course is accredited by EOCCS, the first international quality benchmark for online courses in business and management education.

Topics will cover:

  • Nature and benefits of networking
  • Barriers to networking and how to overcome them
  • Frameworks for self-assessment and communicating professional strengths and interests
  • Interpersonal skills including giving and receiving feedback, listening and using appropriate body language
  • Online communication in a professional context
  • Fundamentals of brand equity as applied to individuals
  • Monitoring, evaluation and planning for improving the mutual value of networking activity

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:

  • Apply the principles of effective networking
  • Improve your impression-management skills in a professional context
  • Develop your analytical and prioritisation skills
  • Identify, select and use online tools to enhance your digital presence
  • Develop the potential of your personal brand