Networking can be a powerful tool for finding job opportunities and is increasingly important for students looking for off-campus jobs. It is estimated that upwards of 80% of new job opportunities are found through networking, making it an invaluable resource. While it can be intimidating, especially as a college student, learning how to network and utilizing it frequently will give you an advantage when it comes to landing off-campus job opportunities.
What is Networking?
Networking refers to connections between people who have common interests or are in the same industry. These connections can range from family acquaintances, professors, friends, alumni, and professionals in your chosen field. Networking allows you to connect with people who may have information or access to job openings that others don’t have.
Why Is Networking So Important When Looking For Off-Campus Employment?
It Opens Doors: Networking helps build relationships with those in your chosen field and provides insight into current trends and opportunities in the industry without having to scan hundreds of online listings. Having personal contacts within an organization can give you a leg up when applying for a position; you may even find out about job openings before they become public knowledge.
It Establishes Professional Connections: Everyone needs mentors in their life whether it’s during their college years or later on in their career path, and networking allows you to meet people who can serve as professional advisors or provide helpful advice about finding internships or job opportunities down the road.
It Boosts Self-Confidence: College students often feel overwhelmed when it comes to interviewing or presenting themselves professionally, but conferencing with experienced professionals can help ease some of those fears while also gaining valuable knowledge that could come in handy during future interviews.
Tips & Tricks For Successful Networking
Know Your Path: Have an idea of where you want your career path to lead, so you know what type of contacts would be beneficial when networking, as well as what questions would yield useful responses relevant to your individual development plan.
Reaching Out & Connecting: Make sure to utilize all available resources like LinkedIn and other social media platforms as well as attending seminars/conferences related to your area of interest, and join any alumni groups pertinent for additional connections. Additionally, make sure to ask questions and offer insight into yourself so that everyone has a clear picture of who you are and what you bring to the table when meeting new potential contacts/employers down the line!
Stay In Touch: Once established contact has been made, always follow through with staying connected via email/phone calls, etc – letting that person know updates on your status (e.g., if you’ve recently received another offer) so they know where you stand at all times. This will ensure they remember you when possible future positions arise within their organization/industry.
By taking the time and effort necessary to properly network correctly – regardless if it directly leads towards off-campus employment now or later – not only will future prospects increase tremendously but self-confidence levels amongst college students will also rise simultaneously.