December 1, 2017
While it can be tempting to curl up by the fire and relax until you have to return to school, it is important that you take advantage of all the opportunities you have with this time off. Networking doesn’t have to take up all of your time; you can do some small things to incorporate it into everything you’re already doing.
Work on Your Resume
Before you start networking, you’ll want to have a clean, updated resume to give out; professional contacts may ask for a copy to pass on to someone in your desired department. In addition to that, you’ll want to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date. Amy, a hiring expert from Textron, says “as you continue to network in person, keep in mind that you can “connect” with individuals on LinkedIn after meeting them. This can help grow your network and continue building professional connections that could lead to opportunities later on.”1 You’ll have plenty of time to devote towards perfecting both your resume and LinkedIn profile, so you should take advantage of that before you head back to school and find yourself swamped in studying and homework once again.
Talk to Everyone
With all of the holiday festivities that will be occurring, it’s likely that you’ll see family and friends that you don’t usually talk to. This is a great time to see what types of connections they may have. Make sure to mention that you’re looking for a job. You never know who knows someone that could help you! Stephanie, a hiring expert from AT&T, suggests you “talk to people about their skills and their experience. If a job comes from it, wonderful! But you don't have to start with pressing for work. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how many people are happy to share information about their work and companies with you.”2
After all of the holiday celebrations are over, you will likely have several more weeks before you return to college. This downtime is the perfect opportunity to find some local networking events and make connections before going back to school. As Stephanie continues, “The fact is that professional connections are consistently one of the best ways to land a career,”3 and what better time to do it than when you aren’t distracted by the growing mountain of things you need to do for class?
Of course, you should also make sure you take some time to relax, recharge, and visit with friends and family. But soon enough, you’ll be back to school and it will be harder to devote time to networking. By taking advantage of this break, you can lay a strong groundwork that will make it much easier later on, and hopefully, help you land your dream job!