Connections. Connections. Connections. College gives you ample opportunity to make connections as you begin a job and internship search. Networking can feel intimidating, so we’ve provided five ways you can get a jump start!
1. Check with your career center.
Most universities have an office specifically designed to help you develop your career. The experts aid students with resumes, cover letters, job seeking, LinkedIn profiles, interview practice and more. Schedule an appointment with a career specialist and launch your networking effectively.
2. Schedule informational interviews.
Networking is about building connections, not begging for a job. Talk to your academic advisor or someone connected to alumni who can help you set up informational interviews. Show up to your interviews with a list of questions to ask. You can ask about their job, their employer, how they got to be where today, and what they like about their career field. Through your conversation, you might learn about upcoming job opportunities.
3. Apply for internships.
When you get to work with professionals in a job or internship role, you’ll make lasting connections that help you in the moment and in the future. Search for internship postings on Indeed and LinkedIn, or find the them on your dream employer’s website. Be willing to arrive early and stay late. Say yes to every project that comes your way. Chat by the coffee machine. Keep notes of what you learn to leverage your experience later on.
4. Do some exploring on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn isn’t just for your parents. It’s a growing career-focused social media platform that can help you be organized in your networking efforts. It functions like an online resume on your home profile, so be strategic with your wording and leverage your experiences. Using certain words associated with your industry throughout your profile helps you show up in search results. Join your school’s alumni group and message school alumni to set up informational interviews.
5. Ask your friends!
While many students are in the same position of looking for jobs and internships, upperclassmen who graduate and begin a career can be great connections. Seek out advice and friendships from upperclassmen you look up to, and make sure to keep their contact for future reference.