Are you looking for a job or an internship and don’t know how to network? Well you’ve come to the right place. Whether a freshman or a senior, in state or out of state, many college students have a lot of confusion regarding networking and making a headway into their professional careers. So, we try to answer some common questions that college students usually ask.
Q. I don’t know anything about networking and have no idea where to start. What do I do?
A. The best place to start networking at a college campus is the career office at your college. They can help kickstart the search for your professional career by helping build your resume, cover letters and getting you in touch with alumni contacts as well as opportunities at nearby companies. If you’re an international student, they can also help you through the procedure required to securing your first internship.
Q. Would using any professional networking sites help my prospects? Which ones?
A. Yes! A professional networking website helps make you more visible to professionals in your field and gives you a method of direct and easy communication with them. The most popular website for this purpose is LinkedIn, which has millions of professionals from all kinds of industries already signed up. Upload a resume and a professional photo and you’re good to go. Twitter is another website whose professional networking ability is often overlooked. Millions of professionals are on Twitter and frequently discuss their jobs and industries, making it a perfect platform for queries and comments. They sometimes also post available positions on Twitter, which might be the dream job you’ve been looking for.
Q.What else can I do to increases my chances of getting a job or an internship through networking?
A. Network with all the possible resources that are available to you. Network with your friends, your parent’s friends, your friend’s parents and any other contact that you have. You never know where the next opportunity comes from. Join networking clubs like the Triangle Marketing Club, go to interest meetings and try and getting in direct contact with industry professionals. Stay active in campus activities, talk to your professors and always keep an eye out for opportunities headed your way.
Q. How should I be dressed to a networking event?
A. Business casual would be your best bet. Women should wear a nice top or dress with a skirt or trousers while men can stick to polo shirt and khakis. Also, have business cards on hand for potential professionals and remember, look sharp. You would rather be overdressed than underdressed for an event.
These are just a few questions that might arise from college students, and there are a lot more that you might have. Make sure you ask them and understand the answers because you never know what lands you that dream job. It’s best put by the following quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky” – Michael Scott.