What’s one of the top ways students find a job after graduation? Networking with people they know. Your friends and family may not know of job opportunities, but they will be helpful in connecting you to people they know, who may. You’d be surprised how helpful people can be, even if you don’t know them well.
Start with people you know. Make a list of everyone you know well enough to use their first name (family, friends, parents of friends, and anyone you’ve worked or volunteered with). Set up a meeting with each person on your list (offer to buy them a cup of coffee)
- Tell them what you want to do as clearly as you can. You’re not necessarily asking them for a job; you’re asking for their help in identifying job opportunities, or people who may know of job openings.
- Try to get at least 2 or 3 contacts from them who are more directly linked to a job in your chosen field. Ask them to help you set up a meeting with these contacts.
- Leave them with your resume, and make sure to send them a thank you note.
Once you reach contacts that are in your desired field, you can ask for a networking meeting. That meeting is usually in their office.
- Do your homework. One of the most impressive things to a professional is someone who comes prepared. Read everything you can about the person and their organization so you can phrase your questions intelligently.
- Ask for information:
- About the job itself
- Necessary degrees/training
- Most important skills
- About job hunting
- Know what organizations hire regularly
- How do they source applicants
- Ask for additional contacts of people in the field.
- Give them your resume.
- Say thank you. Send a thank you note shortly after your meeting.