The job search can be tough for students—especially during a pandemic. One way to increase the likelihood that you’ll find a job is to network. Did you know that 85% of job positions are found through networking? But whether you do it in-person or online, you need to do it right. Networking isn’t just asking someone for a job; it’s getting to know someone in your field better and finding ways to help one another. To be a successful networker, and hopefully get a job, you must be persistent, friendly, and organized. Demonstrate your value to your connections and potential employers with these simple and successful job search networking tips for students:
1. Network with Professionals Through Friends and Acquaintances
The easiest and most successful way to network and meet people is through a referral. Job searching or looking for clients? Tell your friends! Maybe they know someone who can help and offer an introduction.
2. Use Social Media to Network and Find Jobs
What better way to get to know someone during our current social distancing mandates than through social media? Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date and follow contacts in your career field. A good LinkedIn profile should include:
- A professional looking profile photo
- A standout profile headline
- A well-written summary
- A list of professional experience
- Your skills
- Education background
Recruiters also use social media platforms to look for potential job candidates. If you want to catch their attention, be active on LinkedIn. Like posts, share articles, get in on relevant conversations—and always remember to be professional.
3. Attend Networking Events and Ask Lots of Questions
One of the best ways to grow your network and strengthen connections with people is to attend networking events. Whether in-person or online, make sure you meet new people, and then get to know your network members by asking a lot of questions. Ask people what they do for a job and whether they like it. It might make you consider a new career path. Some conversational questions could be: What type of training did you need for your job? How long have you worked in your industry? What do you like or dislike about it? Asking questions also shows people you’re interested in them and what they do. It helps you build personal and professional connections. And if you find someone with whom you really connect, you could ask them to be a mentor. Mentors can be an invaluable resource for advice and opportunities to connect with others.
4. Share Your Resume to Find Jobs in Your Network
Always keep your resume up to date. Especially when you’re actively seeking a job, share your resume with as many people as possible. And that new mentor? Ask them to take a critical look at it. How can it be improved? Feedback from someone in the field you want to enter can be very helpful. They can give you tips on the kind of language to use and how to position your skills against a job posting. Also, sharing your resume gives you an inside track whenever new job opportunities arise.
5. Always Say Thank You to Strengthen Your Network
Treat your social network with kindness. Thanking a person for advice or a potential connection can go a long way, and you, in return, can offer your help. It’s always a nice gesture to give a phone call or send a follow-up email showing your appreciation.
Networking is an ongoing process to build mutual trust and give-and-take in a relationship. Keep in touch with those you can help, and who might be able to help you in return. And don’t wait until you’re out of work to reach out to people. Take care of your online or in-person network today to build success for tomorrow.
Unsure of where you should go next in your career? Check out the career training programs offered at Porter and Chester Institute in Connecticut and Massachusetts and learn about our career services team.