Networking is an essential part of a successful career. You may have the necessary skills and an excellent education, but without connections, obtaining a job or building a business will be difficult. The following tips can help you build a stronger network.
Actively engage in class
In classes relevant to your major, make yourself known to the professor by participating in class discussions or visiting them during office hours. Professors often have many connections ranging from colleagues in the field to former students. Establish a positive relationship with your teachers, and they may be valuable resources during your job search.
Reach out to other faculty and staff
Expand your connections beyond your professors. If someone on campus can provide career advice or assist with finding an internship, contact them and arrange a time to meet.
Talk to recent graduates
Former students who graduated recently can be helpful too. Talk to people who are new to the work world as they offer a new perspective to your job search.
Take advantage of networking events
Southern offers events such as Meet the Firms each semester. Take advantage of this networking goldmine by dressing well and attending. Meet with Career Services or the Writing Center to prepare your resume for this event. Also, consider attending off-campus networking events.
Secure an internship
An internship gets your foot in the door! An internship can increase your experience and exposure while possibly leading to a job at that specific company. The experience might connect you with other opportunities and serve as a reference in the future. Treat your internship seriously, not as a resume filler.
Once you've made connections, keep them. LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch with and make new professional contacts, so make sure you keep your profile active and updated.
Connect with your company of choice on social media.
Follow businesses of interest on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. This small step signals your interest in a future opportunity and is a good way to monitor job openings.