If you are like me, you have probably heard from your professors a million times that networking is crucial. However, if you’re also like me, you’ve probably waited until your senior year to start truly networking. Do not fear! If you’ve waited until your last year and are now scrambling to network and find a career post-graduation, I have some helpful networking tips for you!
1. Attend Networking Events (Early On)
I know this one sounds self-explanatory, but believe me, I waited until senior year to finally start attending Belmont’s career fairs and networking events. If I could go back in time, I would definitely have started attending these events as a freshman. Networking events not only get you connections, but they can also help you visualize yourself in a career for your major. Additionally, even if you see booths and people who have jobs you do not think you are interested in, still grab a business card! These business cards could be vital for connections down the road, even if you do not think so now.
2. Get a LinkedIn
I originally had to create a LinkedIn profile for one of my classes, and I assumed that since I hadn’t graduated yet, I couldn’t use my profile for anything. However, LinkedIn is a vital way to discover internships, make and expand your connections, and hear about certain jobs from people in the field you are interested in!
3. Keep Your LinkedIn Updated
This tip ties into number two. Once you have created your LinkedIn profile, make sure to keep it updated with each new position and achievement you earn. Even if you have yet to graduate, employers (hiring for either post-graduation or internships) can see your most recently updated information and will be more likely to reach out.
4. Never Be Afraid to Send Out Your Resume or Apply For Internships
This is possibly one of the biggest tips on the list! Coming into college, I was terrified of rejection and assumed that if I was not an ideal candidate for a job or internship, then there was no reason for me to apply. However, some of the internships I have gotten in college came from emailing my resume to a company that I assumed would never hire me! Even if you fear rejection, the worst the employer can say is no. Truth is, they deal with so many candidates daily and weekly, they most likely will not remember they rejected you a few years down the line (if you are afraid of that like I was).
5. Sign Up For Job or Networking Newsletters
One of the best things I have done in college was to sign up for frequent newsletters for job postings and internship postings. One of my favorite sites for this is Indeed! With Indeed, I created an account and then typed in the keywords for jobs I was interested in and saved the searches. Now, I receive emails weekly about job postings AND internship postings for the fields I am interested in!
In closing, I empower you to network, and to network EARLY! Rejection is not the end, and the sooner you network, the sooner you will make connections that could be lifesaving (and career saving) down the road! Best of luck in your networking endeavors!