The biggest problem that many new graduates have is that they have no job lined up when they graduate. Student loan payments will start soon and that requires some income. The best way to get a job, no matter what the condition of the economy, is to network. Here are some great networking tips for those who are just graduating and working on finding a career.
Arrive Early to Networking Events
A common term for parties or gatherings is “fashionably late”. However, arriving a little bit before the majority of the crowd shows up provides a great opportunity to talk to more people without all of the noise. Another bonus is that you can talk to people as they arrive, even finding a group you would like to sit with for the night.
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Always Carry Business Cards
Carrying a few business cards in your wallet at all times is a great way to share your information, no matter the setting. Do not show up to a party with a stack of cards and hand them to everyone though. The point is to have five cards in your wallet, so if the occasion arises during a conversation in any setting, you have all of your contact information handy. Another great tip would be to buy some high-end business cards. These little rectangles are meant to represent you as a person and using finer quality materials such as a silk business card makes for a great impression on a potential employer.
When you meet someone who you need to contact, ask them how they would prefer you to contact them. It is important to contact them promptly, as in within 48 hours. Some may think that it is bad to look overly eager. However, if you don’t contact them within a reasonable amount of time, you run the risk of coming off as disinterested in the potential opportunity.
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Join Networking Sites
Social media is a great way to get the word out that you are looking for a job or that you are fabulous at what you do. People who know that you are looking for a job will think of you when they hear of an opening somewhere. Some of the best and most popular sites for networking are places like LinkedIn, where you can build your professional profile and showcase your achievements. Other sites like Facebook and Google Plus are great just because so many people use them, so you instantly have a lot of contacts who may know of places that are hiring.
There are a few warnings that need to be thrown in here. Never rely on this mode of networking to be enough. Face to face contact is still vital in building relationships. Use this more as a way to keep in contact, but not the only way. Social site relationships tend to evolve into very superficial relationships. Be sure to send emails, make a phone call, or go to lunch or other social functions where you can interact in person.
Image Credit: UCL Alumni