“I know someone who knows someone else who…” Most of us have already heard this during our careers. Today, as in the past, one thing is still clear – without the right connections, finding a job can be quite challenging. But how do you find such contacts?
This is important – these connections are worth their weight in gold! The first place to start is with family and friends. Then the next step toward success should be a big dose of Vitamin C, which stands for “Connections” in your networks. In addition to completing your education with good grades, you will find that these connections are very helpful during the job search.
The A and O: engagement and presence
Of course, to make the right contacts you need to invest a certain amount of time in building up your network. First of all, you should clearly define your goals. Think about what you want to achieve, and about who could possibly help you along the way.
Most universities provide students with support when it comes to networking. University alumni associations also maintain good contacts between current students and former students who have found careers. This is one way to make both personal and professional connections.
And you can also look outside the university environment to see what the “open market” has to offer. The first contact you make with a major business enterprise could very well take place at a job fair hosted for those just completing their studies. You should use this opportunity to visit the various stands at these events and talk to company representatives about your career interests and goals. Use these conversations to make a good impression, and be sure to look for tips that will help you find your first job. Always remember that it is very important to conduct yourself in a professional, business-like manner while showing keen interest in the company that may ultimately want to interview you.
Internships, student jobs, part-time work – the more experience, the better
Graduating with good grades and distinction makes your search for that “dream job” much easier. However, in addition to that, many companies are also looking for students who already have some sort of real work experience. Working as an intern or student will give you valuable insights into how businesses function on a daily basis, and you will also have an opportunity to make good connections at work that can be very helpful. In fact, by doing a good job as a student or temporary employee, you already have one foot in the door – and the company may offer you job when you graduate!
LinkedIn and XING – keep your profiles updated
Since more and more enterprises are relying on social media when recruiting new employees, you should regularly update and enhance your profiles for online career networks. LinkedIn and XING are great platforms for making good career contacts – and as a student you should take advantage of them. Be sure that your CV is always up to date in these networks and make your profile attractive to get the attention of recruiters and headhunters. With a little luck you should be able to land an internship or part-time job, in addition to making valuable network connections that can help you in the future.