Making connections with others is one of the best ways to learn about the world of work and gain access to professional opportunities. Making meaningful connections with people is often called building a network.
Why Build a Network?
Building a network gives you access to jobs before they are posted, or to jobs that are not publicly posted.
Employers like to hire people they have already built relationships with, and are more likely to hire people who have been recommended by trusted colleagues and friends.
How to Build a Network
Networking is all about getting to know people and letting them get to know you. This can be done online and in person. It is valuable to build relationships with people in your desired field, as well as outside your desired field - you never know who can help you on your career path!
Here are some ideas for how to start building your network:
- Join a professional association
- Attend Career Fair
- Attend other events on-campus and off-campus
- Attend conferences or training in your desired field
- Connect with people on LinkedIn and see their resources for students
- Follow and interact with the social media streams of people and companies in your desired field
- Build your personal brand (try out pwc's Personal Branding Workbook)
- Develop hobbies - meet people with similar interests!
Tips for Success
- Take the initiative to introduce yourself to others
- Keep an open posture - stand up straight, face your body towards the people you're talking to, and keep arms at sides rather than crossed
- Practice a firm handshake
- Look people in the eye
- Speak clearly
If you need some assistance, book an appointment with us to help get your network started.