When students first begin their undergraduate degrees, they may think that obtaining their degree will be enough to have the kind of career they want. While earning a degree is a huge accomplishment, often other factors play into getting a first job.
A few months after graduation, some students find themselves tired of searching job ads to no avail. New graduates often have no idea where to find the job they really want. This is where networking comes in.Often a person in student’s network can help with job leads, introduce a student to an important person, or open doors to new positions.
Here are some tips for building a network while you are in school.
Join a group -- Most colleges have student organizations or groups that students can join. Everything from marketing, and business clubs, to the drama club, and sororities or fraternities are available for students to connect and share a common goal. While in the groups the students get to learn about and discuss ideas that are important to them. The people in these group often form bonds that last well beyond the college years, and can be useful in the future.
Intern -- During an internship, a student works for a company, usually for free, in order to gain real world experience in their chosen field. A student would learn what really goes into having the type of career they want to have. While working in the internship, it is possible to develop friendships and contacts that would be helpful later during a job search.
The manager of an internship would also be a great resource when the student needs a professional reference. The manager would be able to speak to the student’s ability to work in the real world, have good attendance, and excel on the job.
Volunteer -- Volunteering is a fast way to meet like-minded people who share similar goals. There are many volunteer opportunities from animal care to literacy tutoring. Through volunteering a student is able to make a difference in the world, while making connections that may last a lifetime.
If the director of an organization sees how passionate a student is about working for an important cause, they will be sure to remember that when the student is seeking work.
Attend Networking Events -- There are many networking events that are held outside of school that a student could attend. Based on what interests a student, they can attend events that focus on various subjects. Everything from public speaking, to creative writing, and business, can be studied outside of school through networking events and conferences.
These networking events usually have hundreds of people involved. This offers the student the opportunity to meet, and get to know people from various career levels. When it is time for the student to begin looking for work, they can reach out to their contacts for job leads.
Network Online -- Social media has made it possible to network with people in all types of industries all over the world. A student should always use social media wisely. Be careful about what is posted online. The online presence should be one that is professional, and speaks to a student’s good qualities.
Following people who work in the field they want to be in, is a good way to build up a network. The student can learn so much just from following people already in the field. When the time is right the student can even reach out to people online for job leads.
There are many ways to network. A student will get much further in their career search if they have many options for job leads, and professional references.
Try one of these networking ideas today!