Identify & Build:
Many students and young people in the workforce have trouble identifying what a network is and who is in their network. Truly, your network can be anyone you know. Networking is simply building relationships. Your network can consist of friends, relatives, friends of friends, classmates, professors, professionals, employers, and acquaintances. To build relationships and expand your network, look for areas and opportunities to become connected with other students and professionals. Tap into professional and non-profit organizations, student groups, and your contacts with alumni to build a network that is strong and diverse.
Follow Up & Stay Connected:
Follow up with new contacts as well as old contacts you haven’t spoken with in a while to ensure a fluidity in your communication. Whenever you make a new networking connection, send them a thank-you note or email to thank them for their time. This a professional courtesy and a good business habit to establish early on in your career.
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account – go sign up now! It is one of the best ways to ensure maximum networking opportunities. The best way to think of LinkedIn is as a professional version of Facebook. If you have a LinkedIn account be sure to stay active and keep your information up to date. Here is how to set up your LinkedIn account:
- Visit www.linkedin.com
- Create an account. This is free.
- Add “education” that accedes high school
- List work experiences
- Develop a brief “summary” statement about your goals and qualifications.
- Fill in the “specialities” section with keywords a recruiter might use in his/her search
- Create a profile headline such as “Journalism major seeking print media internship”
- Claim your unique LinkedIn URL (i.e. www.linkedin.com/in/bobjones) – this will be helpful when linking your LinkedIn to resumes, CVs, emails, etc.
- Upload a professional headshot
- Join some LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your profession and passions.
- Collect recommendations from employers, colleagues, professors, and mentors.
- Connect with as many people as possible to build your LinkedIn network.
- Use “advanced search” to identify potential hiring managers’ names.
Slide Share Link - Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out