It’s all about networking. Most people find jobs through the people they know, or the connections they have made through formal networking opportunities. Networking is the process of forming and fostering relationships with people in specific industries. People network with all kinds of professionals, and the more they do it the more successful they will be in their career.
But who do you network with? At every turn you are advised to network but you aren’t given many specific tips on who to network with. Here are three types of people you should start networking with as soon as possible.
You may not think of your classmates and current coworkers as valuable connections; but they are. These people will one day be peers in your industry, and may have the power to help you find a job. Your peers are also doing internships and searching for jobs too, so they can be a great resource when it comes to job interview questions and leads. You can start connecting with your peers by taking your friendship a step up from where it is. Start talking to your peers about jobs, internships and industry experience and before you know it they will turn into valuable professional contacts.
Professionals in Your Area
Networking does take work. You should be networking with industry professionals in your area, but that can be hard to do. Start by attending networking events and applying for internships. You can also take networking to a more informal level by reaching out to professionals through common connections. You may have peers who know professionals you don’t know, and can therefore introduce you to them.
Look at your professors as industry experts. These people are highly knowledgeable, experienced and qualified and you are lucky to be able to brush shoulders with them. Take advantage of your education by becoming aquatinted with your professors. Don’t suck up to your teachers, but get to know their backgrounds and their areas of specialty. Some good ways to do this are to stop by their offices to get help on an assignments, ask questions about job searching or even ask them to take a look at your resume.
Networking may be the best thing you can do for your job search and eventually your career. As you get to know your peers, professionals and your professors, your circle of connections will widen. The more people you know, the more resources you will have as you look for a job after you graduate from college.
Jill Hardy writes for a website called UniversitiesOnline.net, a site that helps students prepare for their future careers by getting the education and training they need.