As you approach graduation and job hunting, you may hear the advice that in order to get the job you want you will need to network. But what exactly does this entail? Networking can be a vague and murky concept when you’re new to it. You know you need to make connections with people in the industry you’re interested in, but the trickiest thing can be figuring out how to make those connections, and the right way to go about it. Luckily, it’s not as complicated as you might think.
Here is how to network as a student to set you up for the career you want.
Attend Industry Seminars And Events
A great first step to start out on your networking journey is to find a networking event for the industry you’re interested in. These events are common across most fields, and usually feature speakers on a variety of topics as well as time for conversation. You can find these events by checking in with your university’s careers service or by searching online.
Listen And Ask Questions
Once you have an event lined up, you’ll want to make the most of your time there. Listen to the presentations carefully and make mental note of any questions or comments that come up. Later on, if you get the chance, you can introduce yourself and start a conversation about the topic they presented on.
Attend Job Fairs
Another great solution for how to network as a student is to attend a job fair. If you’re already on the job hunt, this is a good option, since there is a much more direct pipeline to employment. The companies with booths will be looking to hire, so you can go in with an elevator pitch ready to go.
Connect With A Mentor
Did you know that many universities offer mentorship programmes? You can apply by submitting a short bio with your experience and career goals, and you will be matched with a mentor in a relevant field. This is a great opportunity to gain expert insight into the industry, and to develop a relationship with someone who can help you out.
Use Social Media
Once you’ve established some connections, the next step is to maintain them. A great way to do this is via social media such as LinkedIn. You can ask follow up questions, continue your conversations, and get updates on one another’s careers.