The Importance of Networking

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If it hasn’t already, the spring semester for many colleges is in full swing. Seniors are getting anxious to walk across the aisle and ready to start the next chapter in their life. The number one item on the mind of seniors is finding a job. While most career-oriented departments at universities and colleges tell their students to start looking for a job 3-4 months prior to graduation, networking is something that needs to be done all throughout your college career. Developing relationships with company recruiters, gaining experience, and even interning at some of your A-List companies.

While Networking 101 should be a class in college, unless you’re a go-getter, most colleges don’t teach the importance of networking. In a Recruiters Market, who you know can very well be more important than what you know. As important as obtaining a college degree is, networking can make or break a job at your dream company. Here are a few tips I have come up with to jumpstart your college career. If you’re a junior or senior, start networking now.

Don’t be Afraid To Talk About Future Employment

When talking to recruiters or future employers it’s important to not be afraid. After all, the worst answer you’d hear is “no”.  The job of a recruiter is to hire the right fit for their employer. They’re there to help you succeed in a position because their job relies on reliable hires. When networking with recruiters of your dream company it’s important to show confidence. First impressions are really important, especially if you’re at a career fair or training session.

Start Interning

One of the best ways to show off your skills to an employer is to try and intern for them. It’s usually easier to get hired as an intern over a full time employee and interning gives you a sense of the company culture and if you really like it. When interning you usually work with a team similar to the one you would be working with as a regular employee. Making friends with potential supervisors is a great way to network. Even if you aren’t offered a job it’s likely they will have other connections and help you in succeeding.

Go Beyond your Industry

Who says you have to networking exclusively within your industry? By growing your networking across a variety of industries you can connect with people that’ll grow your core network and position you as more valuable when it comes to your own industry. With a broad network you can be the person that connects people across different industries. Especially when offering services in one industry to another.

Share Your Insider Information

Do you have networking secrets that have worked for you in the past? 

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Comments

  1. I agree, Networking 101 should be a class, and in my opinion Internship 101 should be mandatory. Not only does an internship help people network, but it teaches them hands on skills that they can’t get out of a textbook or classroom lecture. Thanks for sharing this. Hopefully it will get some students thinking long before graduation.

    Reply
    • I completely agree Brittany! If I would’ve learned the importance of an internship in college I probably would’ve been more pro-active in getting one. Waiting till I was out of college was rough because I had to find a real world job to pay the rent/bills. Having an internship at that point was hard, but it worked out in the end. I couldn’t be happier how things turned out in that area.

      Reply
  2. I couldn’t agree more that doing an internship for company is a great way to show off your skills. It’s difficult not to hire someone when they are doing an astoundig job, and for free!

    One of the things that worked for me is speaking to people who are already doing the job I want to do.I find most people are happy to talk about their experience, and a simple invite for coffee (well, there is a process that doesn’t make the prospect sound creepy to the recipient!) is all it takes to have a meaningful conversation and gain a contact.

    – Razwana

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