Best Networking Advice for College Students
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If you didn't already know by now, college is the perfect time to be networking for your future. Your college career sets the path for everything you do thereafter. So how exactly does one go about networking in college? Although the illusion is that college is all about partying and having a good time, and it can be, it is wise to plan for the long term and really put considerable effort into networking when and where you can. As a college student, there are so many resources available to you to do just that.
- Social media in today's day and age is one of the most powerful assets you have to network yourself. Between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, the social media world is your oyster. Especially with LinkedIn, making and keeping connections is made so easy and so beneficial. That being said, be extremely mindful of what you put on social media. Everything you put on social media can hurt you if you are not careful. Employers typically will check your social media pages before hiring someone, so be sure that you are representing yourself in a way that you wouldn't mind a future employer seeing.
- Internships. Internships are so incredibly vital to a healthy resume once you graduate college. Also, perhaps through an internship, you receive a paid job offer upon graduation. Many are hesitant to take on an unpaid internship and see it as a waste of time, but it is entirely the opposite. The connections, the experience and the reputation you receive through taking an internship with a reputable company will be worth it and make you stand out from the crowd.
- Colleges offer multiple networking events per year. It is important to attend these, make connections and hand out business cards with your information on them. It is extremely helpful when you are memorable and employers can put a face to a resume.
- Talk to recent graduates, get some advice, try making some connections that may behoove you in the future. College is an exciting time to meet new people, it is important to go into the long-term mindset when meeting new people.
- Talk to your parents and your parents friend. You never know who is going to help you get your foot in the door and give you your big break into the industry you would like to work in. Furthermore, get a mentor. Be a shadow while you can to learn the in's and out's of an industry before applying.
Education is important absolutely, but in a job market where Bachelor's degrees are being tossed aside as inadequate, it is important to make sure that you stand out and make a memorable impression. This is why networking while in college is so incredibly important, you want to make yourself as competitive as possible and show what you bring to the table to anyone you meet, you never know what connection might pay off for you.
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