ADVISING TIP OF THE WEEK: THE IMPORTANCE OF NETWORKING
No matter what direction you want to take after college, networking is your key to success. Whether graduate school is on your radar or you are ready to dive into the working world, your connections will help you get there. Studies show that 80% of jobs are found through networking or the “hidden job market.” Here are a few helpful networking tips to start putting into practice:
- Get involved in a student or professional organization that links to your career goal. Many careers have professional associations that carry student memberships. By becoming involved in these associations early, you expose yourself to the latest information in your field and to professionals already doing what you someday hope to do.
- Start a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is a great way to take your network online. Many recruiters use this tool to connect to new graduates. You will continue to develop and build your network as your career takes off, but getting it going now is good practice. But remember, this is a professional networking tool and potential employers will see your page, so make sure you are putting your best foot forward!
- Attend any event, on or off campus, where you can connect with potential employers. Departments around campus or the Career Center will host employer panels from time-to-time. These are great events to attend where intelligent questions are often raised. Stay after the event and personally introduce yourself. You will more than likely leave with a business card!
- Make a list of everyone you know. You may have forgotten about uncle Joe who has a friend who owns a publishing company. It is important to reach out to those you already know, because a personal referral can go a long way!
- Set up informational interviews. These are meetings that you initiate with a professional working in the field of your interest. You would simply get in contact with the person and let them know that you are interested in working in a job similar to theirs, and you were hoping that you could speak with them about working in their profession. People love to talk about themselves, so 9 times out of 10 they won’t turn you down. Come to the meeting with well thought-out questions about the profession and getting started in it. Bring a resume to give to the professional at the end, in case they happen to know of any openings in the field. You’ll leave knowing more about the profession and you can add one more person to your network!