The end of the school year is nearly here and you do not have job or internship lined up yet for the summer. What to do? Kick your networking in to high gear starting today!
Contrary to what you might think, networking does not have to be an uncomfortable experience. Many people are reluctant to reach out because they don’t want to appear annoying or desperate. If that describes you, consider that networking is actually an opportunity to build relationships. When you reach out for help you are also making yourself available to help others.
Face-to-Face Networking in 8 Easy Steps
- Identify the type of job/internship you want.
- Create a list of all the people you know who might be able to help connect you to someone in an industry/field/job you want to be a part of. You are probably connected to more people than you think. Family, friends, co-workers, professors, casual acquaintances, your best friend’s sister’s co-worker…you get the idea.
- Contact a few people on your list. Be specific about the type of experience you are hoping for so that person can help you the best way possible.
- When you have a contact, get in touch either by phone or email and respectfully ask if they would be willing to meet for a 30-45 minute informational interview where you can talk about their job, what they love, the challenges they have at work, and advice they have for you.
- Prepare a list of questions you would like to ask your contact.
- Dress professionally and meet your contact. DO NOT ASK FOR A JOB, but do ask if the person knows anyone else you might connect with.
- Ask to connect on LinkedIn and most importantly…
- …stay in touch with your contact. Send an email or call every so often and let your contact know what you are up to. If you land a job or internship, let them know and continue staying in touch.
To learn more about face-to-face networking, LinkedIn or to have your online profile reviewed by a career specialist, make an appointment with the Career Development Center today!