Looking for an extra leg up in the job market? Try Career Services’ handy tips for networking and professional development!
The best way to find opportunities and get your foot in the door before the competition, as a new graduate, is not through online job boards, or the classifieds- it’s by networking. Some people shy away from networking, but networking is nothing more than getting to know people and building relationships. As a young professional or recent graduate, the sooner you start building your professional network the easier landing a job will be in today’s economy. Here are a few tips to get you going.
Developing a Solid Networking Strategy
Consider everyone a potential useful member of your professional network, including friends, family, and co-workers.
Don’t confuse networking with “job hunting.” If you approach getting to know people and earning their trust with the thought in the back of your head “what can this person do for me or how can they help me get ahead,” then you will burn bridges before they are built and come across as needy. Attempt to learn and be helpful at the same time.
Be willing to ask for help. Keep in touch with your contacts and check in with people. Make sure to always thank someone for any advice or suggestion whether it was helpful or not.
- When you actually take on the task of meeting professionals or going to networking events, make sure to 1) go in with realistic expectations and patience, 2) start with people you may be comfortable with, like instructors or mentors, and have them introduce you to other professionals, 3) organize the people you meet or keep a log to make sure your efforts are moving you in the direction you want to go, because if you are not getting in front of the right professionals then you may want to 4) change up your activities and events, and 5) research and set goals for each event.
For more information on networking, contact our Career Services Director, Dax Gomez, at firstname.lastname@example.org