Networking with professionals in your field of interest can assist with growing your contact network, learning about opportunities related to your areas of expertise, and obtaining inside information about companies you’re interested in working for. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea.
Follow these tips to develop a strong networking strategy.
1. Get LinkedIn
For emerging professionals who are still working toward their degrees (and everyone else), consider building a LinkedIn profile early to get noticed by recruiters, employers, and other professional contacts that share similar career interests. Work through the LinkedIn Profile Checklist to receive great ideas for building a strong student profile.
2. Attend a Career Fair
A recruiting event, such as a career and internship fair, is a prime opportunity to interact with professionals in your field of interest. In this speed-networking event, you have the chance to make a great first impression with multiple employers and recruiters in your field of interest and build a contact network of professionals.
3. Informational Interviewing
If you’re curious about a career and want the inside scoop, targeting professionals who are in the role you’re interested in is a great way to obtain important information while building a sustainable relationship.
4. Get Involved
Your involvement with a professional association is a great way to begin building a contact network outside of your circle. The connections made through association membership can lead you into a new opportunity, or expand your perspective from other professionals who share similar career aspirations. Research what professional associations are available for people in your field and discover ways to get involved.
Still not sold on why you should network? Connect with a mentor, faculty in your program, or with your career advisor at the Webster University Career Planning and Development Center to discover more.
John Link is the Assistant Director in the Webster University Career Planning & Development Center.