Feeling anxious about landing a job after college? You're not alone. We all know that landing a job or internship after college is tough. And let's be real, no one wants to end up living with their parents and working at a fast-food joint forever. That's why networking is crucial! But don't worry, we're here to help.
First things first, let's talk about why you need to network. It's not just about schmoozing with the bigwigs and pretending to like their stories. It's about building relationships and connections with people who can actually help you in your career. Think professors, alumni, and people in your desired field. And the best part? You don't need to wear a suit and tie to make it happen!
Now, let's get to the good stuff - how to network like a pro. One great way to make connections is by attending networking events. We know they can be a bit stuffy and awkward, but trust us, it's worth it. You never know who you might meet! And if you're not a fan of in-person events, there are tons of virtual options out there too. Just make sure you're not in your pajamas (at least not on camera).
Here are a few ways for college students to find networking events:
1. Check your university's career center website
Your university's career center is a goldmine of resources for landing your dream job or internship. From career fairs to workshops to guest speaker events, the career center offers plenty of opportunities to connect with employers and learn about job openings. So, make sure to check their website and calendar regularly to stay in the loop.
2. Attend career fairs
Most universities host career fairs throughout the year, which are like speed dating, but for jobs. Here, you'll have the chance to meet potential employers face-to-face, learn about job and internship opportunities, and gain valuable insights into different companies and industries. Don't miss out on this golden opportunity to expand your network and find your dream job!
3. Join professional organizations
Joining professional organizations is your ticket to success! These groups offer tons of opportunities to network and learn about the latest happenings in your industry. You can attend events and networking sessions where you'll have the chance to connect with professionals who can guide you through the career path you've chosen. Plus, you'll stay on top of potential job and internship opportunities - it's a win-win situation!
4. Utilize social media
In this day and age, social media isn't just for memes and cat videos. Many companies and organizations in your desired field use it to promote their events and networking opportunities. So, make sure to follow them on platforms like LinkedIn, Heyo, Twitter, and Instagram. You'll get to stay updated on what's happening in your industry, and you might even find exciting events to attend and make new connections!
5. Network with alumni
You know those fancy alumni networks your university boasts about? Turns out, they can actually be useful for something other than bragging rights. Connecting with alumni who are now working in your dream field is a great way to learn about potential career paths, and maybe even land a sweet gig. So why not reach out and ask for a chat over coffee (or Zoom, if you prefer)? Not only could you gain some valuable insights, but you might just make a new friend.
6. Look for online events
From online career fairs to webinars and panel discussions, companies and organizations are finding new ways to connect with students and young professionals like you. The best part? You can join from the comfort of your own home while sporting your pajamas and sipping on some coffee.
But, let's be real, networking events and club meetings may not be your thing. And that's totally okay! You can also network by reaching out to people through email or LinkedIn. You can connect with alumni or professionals in your ideal field and ask for advice or to grab a virtual coffee.
Virtual coffee meetings are a great way to connect with people in your field and learn about potential job and internship opportunities. Plus, you get to enjoy your caffeine fix without the jitters of meeting someone in person. Here are a few tips to make the most out of a virtual coffee meeting:
Preparation is key: Before the meeting, research the person you will be meeting with, their company and their role. This will allow you to have a more meaningful conversation, and show your interest in them and their organization.
Be on time: Just like an in-person meeting, being on time for a virtual coffee meeting is essential. Being punctual will show the person you are meeting with that you respect their time. Plus, you don't want to keep them waiting while you frantically search for your favorite mug.
Dress for the occasion: Even though it's a virtual meeting, it's important to dress in a way that will give a positive first-impression as it will show that you are taking the meeting seriously. But hey, you can still rock those sweatpants below the camera's view!
Have a clear agenda: Make sure to have a clear idea of what you want to discuss during the meeting. This will allow you to stay on track and make the most of the time you have. Remember, it's not just about getting free career advice, but also building a connection with someone who might help you land your dream job.
Follow-up: After the meeting, be sure to send a follow-up email to thank the person for their time, and reiterate your interest in their company and their role. This will help keep the conversation going and keep you top of mind. You could also send them a shout-out on Heyo! but maybe hold off on sending them memes...unless they're really good ones.
Make use of technology: Utilize the technology available to you, such as screen sharing or recording the conversation to make sure you don't miss any important information. This can also be useful for reviewing the conversation later and following up on any action items discussed during the meeting. Just make sure you don't accidentally turn on any filters that turn you into a potato!
Share your Heyo profile: During the meeting, share your Heyo profile with the person you are meeting with so they can learn more about you after and stay in touch. It can also be a great way to keep the conversation going and keep you top of mind in the future.
Be yourself: Remember to be yourself during the meeting. Show your interest and enthusiasm for the industry and the company, and let your personality shine through. This will help establish a personal connection with the person you are meeting with, and make you more memorable. But maybe save the dad jokes for the second meeting.
Let’s talk more about how Heyo can help you with your networking efforts. Heyo is not your average platform, it's like the Swiss army knife of networking. With Heyo, you can create bite-sized stories that showcase your college story, skills, and experience in a way that's engaging and memorable. Plus, who doesn't love a good story? It's a great way to stand out from the crowd and build real connections with others. But wait, there's more! Heyo also has a nifty feature that allows you to send a link to your profile directly to potential employers. Say goodbye to the days of sending boring resumes and cover letters! With Heyo, you can show off your skills and experience in one convenient location.
And let's not forget about shout-outs! Think of them like virtual high-fives from your previous bosses, coworkers, friends, and mentors. Not only do they make you feel good, but they can also highlight the value you bring to the table. Networking can be intimidating, but it's a necessary evil if you want to land that dream job or internship. So don't be shy, join clubs, attend events, and make use of professional platforms like LinkedIn and Heyo. Who knows, your future boss could be just one virtual coffee meeting or Heyo shout-out away!