Five effective networking tips for students

If you’re looking for your dream job or just don’t know how to land one, networking is your answer. Connecting with teachers, peers and potential employers is bound to improve your chances of employment or career development. Get started with these five tips. 

Forge good relationships with lecturers and tutors 

Most lecturers, if not all, have professional links to the industry. With years of experience in the field, they can advise you of internship opportunities, get you an invitation to networking events or simply keep an eye out for jobs that might be of interest. So how do you get started? Start by establishing common interests, seeking advice and expertise, or ask to chat about your plans beyond graduation. 

Embrace social media 

As you reach the end of your degree, it’s time to take social media seriously — LinkedIn especially. Create your own profile and start connecting with your peers and existing industry connections. While an online connection might not lead directly to a career opportunity, you’ll certainly be in the know when something arises. You can start by getting in touch with your lecturers and university alumni who work in your area of study, through which you can glean insights on how the industry works. You should also make sure that your profile is updated regularly with your latest projects and recognitions. And don’t forget to join professional groups and take part in discussions. If you’re lucky, you might make some new connections or even land a job. 

Set up your own website 

A personal website provides the opportunity to showcase your skills and experience, particularly in fields where creativity is highly sought after. Think of it like your virtual résumé. Like your LinkedIn profile, keep the site updated with your latest work samples, projects, extracurricular activities and awards. Tell your stories through blog posts and don’t shy away from engaging with readers. 

Get out more 

Muster up the courage to go to events and meet-ups. The casual setting means there’s less pressure, making it easier to chat to industry professionals and peers. It can also be a lot of fun if you show up with some of your classmates. Use any one-on-one or further meeting opportunities after the events if they come up. Lastly, don’t hesitate to follow up with any new contacts through a short email. 

Collaborate with your peers 

The best innovations stem from good collaboration. Get together with peers who share your passions and start a venture, whether it’s an informal group blog, university-based event or even a small business. And don’t forget to explore opportunities for further training, such as an internship, short course or MOOC. 

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