What is the most important skill to learn that isn’t taught in college classrooms? Networking.
Almost 85% of jobs are filled through networking. If you want to get a good job right after graduation, you have to know how to network in college.
Learning to network while you’re still in college is going to serve you well now and throughout your career. Read on to learn the top networking tips for college students.
- Discover Your Goals
You need to know your goals when you start networking. It’s important to find out what you want to get out of networking.
For example, you might want to network to get an engineering job right out of school. That will help you narrow down who you need to connect with.
Instead of reaching out to everyone possible, you can target HR managers or other engineers at local engineering firms.
- Get Online
It’s hard to network in person since we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. You can take your networking online with sites like LinkedIn and learnconnect.org.
Both are great for reaching out to other college students and professionals in your area. You can use LinkedIn to reach out to alumni as well.
- Attend Events in Your Area
Even though in-person events aren’t happening right now, there are likely to be virtual events. Check with your local chamber of commerce and associations within your industry to learn if virtual events are an option.
These events may present opportunities to connect with other attendees online. The event can start off with dozens of attendees and then break out into smaller rooms.
- Visit Career Services
Your college has a career services department. Utilize this service while you’re in school. They often have great tips for networking in your local area.
The staff at career services also know a lot of recruiters in the area. They can help you polish your resume and connect you with recruiters and alumni.
- Add Value and Follow Up
Networking is all about establishing relationships. If you approach people saying that you’re looking for a job and they should hire you, you’re taking the “me first” approach.
Professionals see this often, and it’s a huge turn-off. Ask people to connect and ask how you can help them. You might have a connection to someone and make an introduction.
Reach out to people you meet regularly. Send a message to ask how they’re doing every few months. They’ll remember and will be more willing to help you later on.
How to Network in College
When you know how to network in college, you are setting yourself up for success. You’ll have a solid network of people who are willing to help you find the perfect opportunity after college.
It’s entirely up to you to put yourself out there, ask questions, and add value. You can’t build transactional relationships and expect anything from them.
Do you want more educational tips? Head over to the Online Education section of this site.