5 Holiday Networking Tips for College Students & Young Careerists

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Holiday Party & Networking Tips for College Students

Did you just finish those final exams?  Now is the best time for college students to be super focused on landing that perfect summer internship!  After you ace your December exams, you will want to be thinking “internship!”   It is never too late or too early to be in the job market.  Here are the top five tips for the holidays:

  • Get Started Early.  Before your exams, reach out and arrange at least one informational interview (or career exploration discussion) with either a potential employer or local alumni.   Most business people generally schedule in advance so make sure you are on the calendar for a date that is before Christmas or the week after the New Year.
  • Join the Party!  Say YES to all holiday party and business networking invitations!  Go everywhere you can to either meet new people or see old friends and family members.  Let people know you are interested in their careers and interests.   Your sincere interest in others will be paid back to you. (Read great advice on business holiday networking)
  • Prep and Research.  Use the holiday break to do some key prep and research. Your prep includes updating resume and online profiles such as LinkedIn. It’s also a good time to clean up your social media posts.  Un-tag yourself from that Halloween frat party; you want your online presence to be professional.  Research should include companies, industries, career options and key people you want to meet.  The prep and research can be done throughout the break, but the earlier the better.  It’s usually hard to do this during the semester so it’s great to be on top of this now.
  • Create New Career Conversations.  Go through your all your contact lists (school and personal). Make a list of people that have interesting careers or work at companies you like or doing jobs that interest you.  Call them and ask if you can meet them.  If you don’t know them well, ask a mutual contact to help you make the connection. The more career conversations you create, and the more interest you show, opportunities will be uncovered naturally.  Most people like to help or mentor college students. Your approach should not be asking for a job but asking for information and advice. Have some great questions ready to learn from the people you meet.  Dress professionally and bring your resume.  At the end of the meeting ask  this: “Is there anyone else that you recommend I meet with?”
  • Thank You and Follow Up.  Always follow-up and show your appreciation.  Send a thank you note to all the people that you had a career discussion with over the winter break. Additionally, send a note or email to your employer from last summer.  In addition to a holiday greeting, update them on your college activities and career aspirations.  Thank them again for last summer and wish them a happy holiday.  Your past employer is your future reference so stay in touch.  You have the chance of being very memorable by being known as an excellent communicator and always thanking people.

Do all five actions with great enthusiasm and gratitude.   Repeat!

Internship Networking Tips

What holiday internship networking and career tips do you have for the young careerist and professional?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Comments

  1. Great Tips! The holidays are the perfect time to start networking for your future career – since you’ll be getting together with friends, family, and acquaintances a lot this time of year. In case you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of networking, or you think it’s not for you – we’ve written a blog post that can serve as a Networking 101 guide! In case you want to read it: http://www.connect-123.com/blog/1688/intro-to-networking/ Thanks!

    Reply
  2. I’ll definitely be using these tips this holiday season. I’m only a sophomore but I feel like it’s never to early to start networking, especially when it comes to internships. Thank you for all the great tips.

    Reply
  3. Thank you Katie and John for leaving your comments! It will be holiday season before you know it. John you are smart to be thinking ahead! Sandra

    Reply
    Sandra Long
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