Here is What College Student Need to Know About the Power of Career Networking
Although your college life will mostly center around academics, these crucial years of higher education are also the best season to begin your career development. Smart moves during your undergraduate years will pave the way for an easier transition from college to your career. Develop and strengthen your networking game using these tips and tools:
Your School’s Career Services
Your school’s career services office will help you get started. Before graduating, don’t forget to take advantage of their assistance – from resume writing help down to alumni networking, your college career services will jump-start your job search – from your freshman year to your senior year.
Don’t forget – your tuition fee already pays for their services, so take what they offer! You will thank yourself later.
You shouldn’t waste the classes relevant to your major, eyes half-closed and daydreaming – make yourself known to your instructor or professor. Take the seats in front and engage during classes.
It’s time to get serious, and there will be no more dialogues of “write my paper.” Ask questions, and even meet with them during their office hours. This will not only help up your grades, but it will lead to creating good relationships.
Professors usually have a huge network of connections, from current and former colleagues to former students (who probably are already thriving in their respective fields), making them a valuable resource for your career journey after graduation.
Reference letters will also be easy to ask for, which companies may ask you to provide.
Reach Out to Faculty and Staff
While your professors can provide for good connections, don’t limit yourself to just them. If you think others in your department might be able to help you, connect with them.
They could offer relevant career advice or even help you land internships and jobs.
Once you’ve established these connections, make sure to keep them. LinkedIn is a good place to keep in touch with professional contacts. Keep your profile updated and active.
Another great way to make your presence known is by building a personal website, in addition to your social media accounts.
Connect with Recent Graduates
Your professors and other professionals are excellent sources of advice and network, but people who recently graduated from school are also helpful. You must understand that job searching has changed much, even in the past decade.
Talking to people who have been through those changes and are fresh in the working field can give you a new perspective on your job search.
Chances are your college offers alumni working events – make an effort to attend and be serious about it. Remember to dress the part, perhaps even carry a few resumes with you-you never know who you may encounter. Keep your eye open for professional events or other job fairs in your area.
An internship is basically a trial for a job experience. It gets your foot in the door, sometimes ending up with a permanent job in that company. But even if it doesn’t, it will open up new opportunities for you, even serving as a reference in the future. Even if unpaid, make sure to take it seriously. Don’t just do it to fill out your resume.
If you wish to connect with someone you admire, such as your professor, or a person in your field, request for an informational interview. This will give you a chance to find out what they do in their respective fields and what it took to get to where they are now.
You can do this via email or on phone. Either way, this will help you establish more contacts, and keeping them will create valuable connections later on in your career.
Connect with the Company of Your Choice for Career Networking
You are most likely eyeing a specific company, dreaming hard to work for them. If you are, follow them on all available social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the like.
This will imply an interest in future opportunities, and you can also keep track of job openings. Most companies utilize unconventional tools to post job openings – ensure you’re up to date with everything!