6 Ways to Network While You're in College
It's never too early to start networking. And if you want a job when you complete your diploma, you've got to know people in the industry in which you want to work.
"The concept is to plant the seeds before you need to harvest them," says Heather Krasna, director of career services at the University of Washington 's Evans School of Public Affairs. "By the time you're about to graduate, it's getting to be a little late in the day to start building those connections."
So how should college students go about making new connections and getting the most out of them when they have a full course load -- and a social schedule to boot?
Here are 6 tips for networking while you're still in college:
1. Play the student card:
Alumni and other contacts are more likely to want to help you while you're still a student, Krasna says. "It's less pressure because the person is just asking for advice," she says, and not yet looking for a job. That means if you want to pick the brain of someone who works in the industry you want to go into or even request an informational interview, now's the time to do it. Grow those relationships while there's no pressure, so those contacts will want to help you when you transition to the work world.
2. Use your friends' parents as resources:
They've got decades of experience and are probably willing to share their expertise with you -- and maybe even their contacts, too. Students tend to overlook their parents' friends when it comes to networking, but those parents are often well connected or know people who are. They'll still be around after you graduate, but it can be less awkward to ask for their advice and guidance while you're in school, says Jodi Glickman, communications expert and author of Great on the Job. "You want to build up this stable of resources before you need them, so that when you actually are looking for a job, you can go in and tap in," she says.
3. Get out of the bubble:
The isolation of some college campuses fosters learning, but when it comes to networking, students can get ahead by networking off campus, says Emily Bennington, who helps college graduates transition into careers through her company, Professional Studio 365. Check out conferences in your field or your local Chamber of Commerce. "Rather than using your savings for a spring break in Daytona ... go to a conference that's within your industry," Bennington says. "Use social media strategically about six to eight weeks in advance of your landing at that conference to reach out to people who are going to be at that event."
4. Use LinkedIn:
Too many students make the mistake of thinking they can avoid LinkedIn until after college, but the smart move is to use it now to track the network you're building. LinkedIn recently launched new options for students that make it easier than ever to get the hang of this network. If you still have trouble getting into the LinkedIn habit, try spending half the time you'd normally spend on Facebook on LinkedIn instead, Krasna suggests.
5. Use Twitter strategically:
While LinkedIn is lauded as the professional social network, Twitter can be even more useful for connecting with people you want to know. Make a list of people in your industry who you look up to, and use the network strategically to connect with them. Like LinkedIn, Twitter can help you take all of these strategies to the next level because it provides an opportunity to keep in touch with the network you're building.
6. Get an internship:
This is the most obvious option, but it can't be overstated. The value of an internship is tremendous, both in terms of skills and contacts. Employers often hire full-time workers from their internship pool, which means having an internship puts you ahead of other job seekers. In addition to giving you real-life experience to put on your résumé, an internship puts you in eyesight of people who work in your field of choice, which means they're more likely to think of you when job opportunities arise.
For more career and personal development advice, visit iHaveNet.com Careers
- 6 Ways to Network While You're in College
- How to Get the Salary You Want Even in This Economy
- The Quitting Quiz
- Can I Afford to Quit My Job?
- Green Your Commute
- Many Once-Standard Workplace Benefits Disappearing
- 5 Factors to Consider Before Relocating for a Job
- How to Take Off After a Layoff
- Unemployed for Life?
- Employers Increasingly Trimming Or Cutting Disability Benefits
- Boost Your Mood with This Simple Trick
- How to Create a Career without a Full-Time Job
- Become Unbreakable: 10 Tips to Create More Personal Resilience
- Get Over Yourself! Learn This Secret to Boost Your Confidence
- Steve Jobs: 5 Secrets of Success
- Do One Simple Thing to Immediately Increase Your Power
- Take Charge of Your Professional Development
- 6 Ways the World of Work is Changing
- Mastering the New Freelance Economy
- How to Deal with a Gap on Your Resume
- 6 Things You Must Do Today to Stay Sane in an Insane World
- How to Make a Career Back-Up Plan
- Navigate the Booming Computer Science Market
- How Higher Education Affects Lifetime Salary
- Unfinished College Degree Means Less Money
- Start Living Your Miracle Life
- Workplace Benefits That Are Rapidly Disappearing
- 5 Common Resume Misconceptions
- How Social Media Can Help 50-Plus Workers Find Jobs
- How to Run a Meeting that Won't Tick Off Employees
- Job Opportunity for Entrepreneurial New Grads
- LinkedIn Offers New Options for Students
- 12 Ways to Be More Creative at Work
- Can You Answer the Miracle Question?
- Getting Ahead in Hard Times
- Why New Graduates Should Consider Entrepreneurship
- 6 Tips for the Hopeful Entrepreneur
- Think Startups are Fueling the Recovery? Not So Much
- How the Crippled Housing Market Affects Job Seekers
- 5 Business Lessons You Can Learn From Mark Zuckerberg
- How to Use Twitter to Change Careers
- Tips for College Grads Starting First Jobs
- 5 Ways Your Negative Friends Can Drag You Down
- Job Market Sucks? Not for Techies
- How to Land a Job in Tech Even if You Don't Write Code
- 5 Creative Ways to Showcase Your Resume Online
- Can Profanity Help Your Career?
- Business Schools Hope to Shatter Sturdy Glass Ceiling
- Failure Is Now Fashionable
- How to Mesh In-Person and Online Networking
- How Facebook and Your Free Time Can Get You Fired
- Why You Should Ditch the Quest for the Perfect Career
- Best Travel Companies to Work For
- The Oprah Effect: Ultimate Star-Maker Moves On As Should We
- Companies with the Most Older Workers
- 9 Companies Hiring Now
- Find New Law Jobs in a Slow Economy
- Make a Difference (And a Fortune!) Sharing Your Advice
- Business Management the Dog Way
- Healthcare Jobs on the Rise
- Can I Afford to Take a Sabbatical?
- How to Position Yourself to Change Careers
- How to Create Superstar Employees: Beyond Work-Life Balance
- The 10 Worst Cities for Job Seekers
- Hate Your Job? 3 Ways to Find a Better Job
- Alternative Career Options for Burned-Out Lawyers
- Where the Engineering Jobs Are
- Top 25 Companies for Work-Life Balance
- Tips for Communicating Well at Work
- Where the M.B.A. Jobs Are
- Not Too Late to Find a Summer Job or Internship
- When Surviving is Not Enough
- Navigating the Digital Job Market When You're Not Tech Savvy
- What Your Name Says About You in the Workplace
- Yoga Teaching Increasingly Popular as Second Career
- 9 Tips to Stop Caring What Others Think
- When Using Job Boards It Pays to Go Niche
- New Site Helps You Use Facebook for Your Job Search
- Tips to Create More Energy and Confidence
- When Your Dream Company is Hiring on Twitter
- Grads May Find More Jobs at Entrepreneurial Firms
- 3 Steps to Create a More Powerful Self-Image
- Switching Jobs in Bad Times: Should You Make the Leap?
- Extra Income: Bring in the Cash
- Treat Your Career Like a SmartPhone
- And on the Side, I'm an Entrepreneur
- Trouble at the Office
- How to Invest Your Time and Energy for Maximum Success
- Is It Time to Go Back to School?
- A Balanced Life is for Losers
- Thinking of Starting a Business? Look Before You Leap
- The Most Effective Ways to Look for a Job
- The Death of the One-Page Resume?
- Brighter Job Outlook for Class of 2011
- Quitting Fear Inc
- How Morning Exercise Can Boost Your Career
- Women's Day: Life (and Work) Lessons Every Woman Should Learn
- Stop Waiting for Permission
- Proactive Job-Search Strategy: Pitch Your Dream Company
- Cover Letters That Work
- Change Your Life and Create a Personal Revolution
- Taking a New Job Without Burning Bridges at the Old Job
- The Right Job at the Right Time
- The Quickest Way to Radically Improve Your Life: Use Radical Change
- 8 Workplace Perks for New Parents
- Reach Your Goals More Quickly: Use Incremental Change
- What the .Jobs Domain Means for Job Seekers
- Finding the Right Skill Set
- Project Management Tips From the Pros
- 10 Best Cities to Get a Job
- How to Be a Smart Job-Hopper
- How Job Seekers Can Build Their Online Brand
- Take Your Resume to the Next Level: Video
- 5 Smart Tactics for LinkedIn Self-Promotion
- Rise in Social Media Jobs Means Opportunity for Job Seeker
- Want More Clout? Stand Up Straight
- Hang Onto People Who'll Help You Advance
- Best Jobs 2011: Emergency Management Specialist
- 10 Jobs That Offer a Big Bang for Your Buck
- Best Career Advice: 2011
- Career Advice Hits of 2010
- Careful Actions Can Lead to Good Luck
- The Top 50 Companies to Work For
- Never Let Excuses Drag You Down Again
- Why Power Naps at Work Are Catching On
- 6 Steps to Polish Up Your Resume
- 6 Tips for GenY on the Job Hunt
- Be Wary About Chancing a Workplace Romance
Careers - 6 Ways to Network While You're in College
Copyright © 2011 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.