Top 5 Simple Networking Tips for Students
Follow these tips to become a skilled networker so that you can make your dream career a reality.
Building a network to help you on your career journey can be intimidating, but knowing how to approach professionals and build connections is a powerful tool to help you find the perfect career. We’ve got 5 simple and straightforward tips to help get you started.
1. Be prepared
Before you can network, you need to establish what you have to offer potential employers. Make sure you have a polished resumé — proofread and carefully written. If someone asks for your resumé, you can be confident it’s ready to go. Practice questions — conversations are a two-way street. Have some questions prepared to help you keep conversations going and show interest in those you want to add to your network. Most importantly, have your personal pitch memorized and ready to go! Know your strengths and skills so that you are ready to market yourself at a moment’s notice.
2. Social networking online
LinkedIn is the professional social network of choice so create and maintain a polished and professional looking profile there. But what other networks does your chosen field gravitate to? Are professionals in your field on Twitter? On Instagram? Facebook? TikTok? Wherever they are, you can be there too! Build your social media presence in the spaces that make the most sense for your field. Like and respond to relevant content from peers and professionals working in that space. The people you meet online can be just as valuable as the ones you meet in-person. Maintain and curate your online spaces, you never know when a new opportunity will pop up!
3. Career Services Center
You have a great resource for all things related to building your career right here at Niagara College — Toronto (NCT)! Your career services team is here to help you in everything from part-time employment to transitioning from college life to the workforce after. They are happy to help you not only polish your resumé until it shines, but also point you to the career fairs, trade shows, and networking events specific to your program. Career Services is an invaluable networking resource, so don’t be shy — stop by and introduce yourself!
4. Be genuine
Reach out to professionals, alumni, professors, and even other students who pursuing a career you are interested in. Guest speakers at an informative lecture, workshop leaders, and seminars are great places to build your network. You already know you have something in common by both being interested in the same field, let them know how much you were inspired by their presentation or speaking event. Try and find a time to connect — ask questions and be genuine. Personal connections are a powerful and authentic way to connect and help your network stay strong and relevant to your goals.
5. Maintain connections
Your networking doesn’t end when you add a connection to your network. You have to constantly maintain that network! Curate your social media presence and try to post engaging relevant content regularly. Follow up on all contacts and make a habit of talking with people in your daily life. Professors and fellow students are all important parts of your network. Maintain relationships.
Networking is a fundamental tool in finding your dream career. If you follow these tips, you’ll be a skilled networker in no time!
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