Monday, October 8, 2007

25 Networking Tips for Students: It's Never Too Early to Start!

For some reason, networking seems to be a dirty word among job seekers. It always seems to conjure up images of an unctuous and insincere old dude glad-handing everyone in the hopes of getting something from them. But the truth is that networking is all about giving help as well as getting it. And experts claim that up to 80% of people find their jobs through networking. So it's worth giving it a shot, isn't it?

Michelle Tullier is Vice President, Career Transition Consulting, for Right Management in Atlanta. She's written several books on finding a job (including Networking for Job Search and Career Success, from JIST), and shares some networking tips she compiled especially for college students. Making time to network is crucial to your future career success, she maintains.

  1. Get involved in campus and professional organizations.
  2. Attend professional conferences related to your career goals.
  3. Be a leader in a campus organization.
  4. Make classes count: Use class projects as a reason to talk to people in the business world.
  5. Connect upward with faculty and staff.
  6. Get to know alumni.
  7. Use your campus career center or guidance office.
  8. “Shadow” someone on their job.
  9. Be an intern.
  10. Help out in your community.
  11. Go on fact-finding missions to get information about the career fields you’re considering and to establish relationships.
  12. Conduct career strategy sessions with a mentor or contact.
  13. Broaden your cultural horizons through a study-abroad program.
  14. Diversify your activities.
  15. Start a job search club to share leads and resources.
  16. Don’t hesitate to enlist the assistance of relatives.
  17. Use the Internet to find information and network with people.
  18. Have a resume whether you think you need it or not.
  19. Have a business card.
  20. Find role models.
  21. Take advantage of public speaking opportunities.
  22. Publish an article.
  23. Learn and practice good time management habits.
  24. Get in the habit of writing thank-you notes.
  25. Start a portfolio that provides evidence of your skills.

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