Post-secondary school life is very hectic, and trying to balance everything can be challenging. Between work, classes, studying, and social events, networking opportunities may get overlooked. But as difficult as it may be to find time for them, networking could be the key to finding your next job opportunity after graduation.
Networking begins with interaction and the exchange of information with another person. While enrolled in a degree or certification program, it is crucial to network with other people and companies in your field. An estimated 60% of available jobs are not advertised, and people that network are the ones that find out about these positions.
Networking doesn’t need to be stressful or tedious though. The following tips will help you make more connections, and look professional doing it!
This is a simple networking tool that many students forget. You never know when you might meet someone that works for a company you’re interested in. By keeping a few business cards in your wallet, you can quickly provide a potential employer with your information in a professional manner.
Information on your business card can include:
Blog or Website
Another great thing about business cards is that they’re cheap. You can have hundreds of professional business cards printed for under $10.
Social media outlets are excellent networking tools. However, your social media accounts can also hinder your job prospects if they contain offensive or lewd content. Therefore, the first thing you should do is clean up all your social media accounts. Make sure to remove any questionable content and set your accounts to private.
Once you’re confident that your profiles are “employer ready,” join groups relevant to your career path and begin posting. For example, alumni groups often have job postings and can be a great resource.
Employer partnership networks form when companies agree to recruit and hire individuals from a specific program. Therefore, before you select a career program, it’s a good idea to ask about employer partnership networks.
Many programs don’t have partnerships with employers, and finding a job rests solely on you. On the other hand, programs like the ones offered by MedCerts have extensive employer networks. Companies currently partnered with MedCerts include:
American Red Cross
Networking events are a one-stop-shop for meeting many potential employers. However, the key to being successful at these functions requires preparation. Employers meet a plethora of qualified candidates during networking events. Making sure you stand out is the key to being successful.
Here are a few student networking tips to help you prepare:
Prepare a quick 30-second pitch about yourself.
Ask questions—recruiters listen to people talk about themselves all day. By taking an interest in the recruiters, you will stand out.
Leave your business card.
Now that you know the importance of networking, you can be more aware of all the potential they offer in your career search. Make sure to ask questions when you meet new people—you never know what connections they might have!