Even if you’re still a freshman in college, you MUST start networking. The longer you postpone it, the tougher it will be once you graduate. If you expect to get your dream job straight out of college than you need to start making contacts that will lead you in the right direction and help you launch your career.
Maintaining these connections will be a tremendous tool once you graduate, they might help you start your business, get you a job, or even put you in the path of the leaders of your field.
Here are various tips on how to network like a pro so you can count with some advantages once you enter the job market:
Part time jobs or internships
Working during college is the best way to get extra money and gain experience. Most jobs require an amount of experience for you to qualify, so this will give you an advantage for your resume. While working try building relationships with those you meet, you never know who’s going to help you achieve a certain goal in the future.
This is a website specifically for students who want to make contacts. Here students or graduates can post their accomplishments, interests and professional goals so they can connect and interact with the professionals of the field they’re interested in.
Go to the networking events
Attending network events, groups, clubs, making small talk and interchanging business cards can seem quite awkward but these will really help you out. All you have to do is try being friendly with as many people as possible, get information about their businesses and try to stay in touch afterwards. Try talking to other students and professors you do or don’t take classes with too, anybody can be helpful.
Make your own brand
It’s important for you to create an image or reputation so you can present that to others. Show this with the way you dress, speak and design your business cards. This will make you unforgettable to anyone you reach out to.
It’s very easy to ask others for favors, but giving back to the contacts you make can really set you apart from the crowd and show you genuinely care. Many people make the mistake of disappearing once they get what they want, so show you’re there if they need something to.