Attending classes and finishing your assignments are not enough. You need to step out and hone your networking skills to build a successful career. Establishing contacts and growing your professional network will set you up for long-term professional success. Here are some five simple career networking tips to help you get started.
Learn how to build a network in class
With a little effort, you can develop effective networking skills during your usual activities such as attending classes, interacting with classmates and professors. Actively engage in class discussions and make yourself visible to the professor. Not only will it help you develop a healthy relationship with your professor but it will also help you gain valuable industry insights. Their connections with former students and colleagues might assist you during your job search process. Moreover, it will be easier for you to ask your professor for a reference letter if you maintain a positive relationship.
Get involved in campus activities
With several advantages of getting involved on campus, you can develop your networking skills, make friends, and build an effective resume. Whether you become a part of professional clubs or organize a college-level event, there are multiple ways to connect with students, mentors, and professors. Pick something that interests you and make yourself known. Don’t miss any chance to interact with your classmates and friends.
Build your online presence
Networking from behind a screen is equally important to develop your online presence. Create a LinkedIn profile and make sure to keep it updated to stay in touch with your professional connections. If you are from arts or architecture, you might also want to create a website to showcase your portfolio. A clean Facebook profile can also land you jobs through alumni groups and job advertisements posted by alumni. If you think you are fit for the job, strike up a conversation and ask meaningful questions.
Attend networking events
Every university organizes alumni networking events and invites alumni to share their experiences. Make sure you attend them and try to speak to a few alumni who you can help you. Dress appropriately and carry a few copies of your resume and portfolio as you never know who you are going to meet. Don’t miss out on career-job fairs and profession-specific networking events in your college. Make new connections and follow up with them through emails or LinkedIn to know about job opportunities.
Enroll for an internship program
An internship helps you take the first step towards a rewarding career even if it doesn’t get converted into a full-time job at that particular company. It can help you build professional and communication skills while enabling you to grow your connections. You can also get connected with other opportunities as an intern. Whether you build new software or draft your first newsletter, you will be developing skills that won’t be taught in the classroom.