Marketing yourself for success- Brianna Kessler
Networking during and after college can dramatically affect your future career, especially if you are a communications, arts or liberal studies major.
Networking with professionals in your field of study opens the door to job opportunities. You know that cliché saying, it is all about who you know? Well, that is true about everything in life, especially finding a great career.
Why is networking important?
If you network with people in your area, you have already gained a foot in the door to the next available job.
Networking allows you to learn more about your field of study, which is great if you are undeceive about the career you have chosen to pursue. Talking to people in the field will give you insider perspective on their daily job duties and allow you to learn how they landed the job. It can also allow you to find jobs not yet listed and meet your potential employers before you are even hired.
How to network
- Find networking events in your area. com. networkafterwork.com and Eventbrite.com are helpful websites for finding events in your area. Also, try careerdfw.org, dallas.eventful.com and Brazen.com if you are looking to network locally and stay in the DFW area.
- Call up professionals and ask to have lunch with them
- Find a mentor
- Email and talk to people you know
- Ask people you know who they know
- Find an internship
- Use social media sites to make connections
- Talk to your professors
- Talk to the career center
Tips for networking effectively
First impressions really do mean everything. Networking can be scary and uncomfortable at first but it gets easier each time you do it. Just make sure to take it seriously because if done incorrectly it could have a reverse effect. Networking is all about linking yourself with other professionals in your field and building a strong relationship so you can succeed.
- Make sure you are genuine and find ways to make yourself standout in a crowd
- Make sure to ask intelligent open-ended questions relevant to your future career
- Remember others names and listen to their advice
- Follow up with the professionals you meet and reach out to them via email or phone. It is also helpful to follow them and the company on social media sites such as Linkedin and twitter.
- It is important to follow up quickly with any referrals given to you after networking and be sure to represent yourself in a positive way because you are now representing not only yourself but the person who referred you as well.
- Find similarities that connect you with the person you are speaking with, such as graduating from the same school, similar hobbies, sports, dogs, etc.
Websites and helpful links for networking
There are numerous great websites designed for professional networking and job hunting.
Whatever your field of study may be, it is always helpful to network. Meeting others with similar life interests and goals can help you both professionally and personally. Just because you got the degree does not mean your set for a job. It is always important to go the extra mile.