June 8, 2017
Network Everywhere You Go
You don’t need to skip out on all your summer plans in order to network. You can find opportunities to network everywhere you go! Networking is all about meeting people and making connections, so next time you’re in line at the coffee shop or lounging at the pool, strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Stephanie, a hiring expert from AT&T says this: “Talk to people about their skills, their experience, and build relationships. If a job comes from that, wonderful! But you don't have to start with pressing for work.”1 You never know who you could meet, and what opportunities that connection could lead to.
Maximize Your Current Internship
While many people seek out internships that they hope to turn into full-time careers, you can work on building your network at any internship, even one you don’t like. Try to learn as much as you can about the company, and reach out to employees to find out why they enjoy working there. You can build relationships that may help you down the road. Employers will also appreciate seeing you go the extra mile to get the most out of your internship.
Network With People You Already Know
Networking doesn’t always have to be about meeting new people. You should also take advantage of being around people that you already know. Your neighbors, extended family members, or parents’ friends may have connections in the field you are trying to get into, and they may prove to be a great resource. They will also probably be interested to hear how school is going, which can be the perfect segue into discussing the types of jobs you’re looking for after graduation. Cassie, a hiring expert from Hershey, recommends “Ask them for advice or if they have any contacts you could talk to in that field. Be very professional and prepared so they see a different side of you.”2
Polish Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is designed to build networks and will be one of your most valuable tools when looking for a job. Take advantage of all the free time you have this summer and start building your network. A good place to begin is people you’ve worked with in previous jobs or who attend the same school as you. These are the people who will be most likely to help you, and who you will feel most comfortable asking for help. James, a hiring expert from Broadridge Financial, puts it like this: “The biggest recommendation I can make to you is to build your network. If you do not already have a LinkedIn profile, definitely create one. Add as many connections as possible to your network.”3 Taking the time to do this could lead to many different opportunities that you would not have otherwise known about.
Using your time off to jumpstart your network will make it so much easier to find a job later on. While it may not be the most fun you’ll have this summer, it may be one of the most important things you can do when you’re home for the summer.