Networking and why it’s important

Networking helps to land your dream job!

At one point in your college career you will likely hear the phrase, “It’s who you know, not what you know” and this isn’t entirely wrong. On paper, you can have straight as in your classes, all of the extracurricular activities, and past work history which will help. But, if the hiring organization receives the resume of you and another individual who also has those features and knows someone at the company, they will lean that way. This is because a recommendation from inside the company holds more weight than words on a paper from an unknown character. This is where networking comes in handy.

Networking is an art form in some respects, you have to meet people, make them like you enough to get their contact information and then remain in contact with them to get a position and after that position is obtained remain in contact with them so they don’t bad mouth you down the road. Impressing these people can be failed with the way you greet them; human nature is judgmental and if it seems like you’re only in it for something they have then they will not be too keen on talking with you. Unfortunately, many college students are not very good at doing this and are either too introverted to approach someone or can’t mask their fake greeting enough to continue interacting with them. It is important to learn the necessary social interactions so that you can work comfortably in an office, but being able to make small talk with people who can possibly get you a career will also help.

Someone who already has these connections and can help you obtain a job is a career coach. These are people who have either worked in the industry for years before becoming a career coach or have been reaching out to companies long enough to develop a rapport with them. When you meet them, and discuss what you would like to do for a career they will take in all the information presented ad their own feelings towards you and write letters of recommendation, make phone calls to people that they know, email, do a lot of the groundwork involved with networking for you. Your career coach may also give you tips and pointers on how to approach people to later ask about job opportunities.

The hardest part about networking is maintaining the relationship with them so that if you don’t immediately need the jobs they offer you can call them down the road for something. Your career coach will take that stress away because they will already have generated a list of correspondents who they have been in touch with over the years. This is a huge benefit because it will take some of the stress out of your life. Having an already created list of people to call upon for potential job opportunities will allow you to utilize your free time to prepare for interviews and really cleaning up your resume so that it reflects the goals you have.

Career coaches are able to navigate the industry you are looking into with ease because they have years of practice doing this type of work. Even if you choose to only meet with a career advisor once they will be able to provide you with what to do and what not to do when attending a networking event. After meeting with them you will be able to properly network and ensure that something will come of the relationships you create with potential hiring organizations so that your time is not wasted.

Networking is a tough but necessary part of looking for internships and careers. This is when you make your first impression on potential bosses and connections that can move you around the office or even around the country. You have to make sure that you make enough of an impact on them that they will remember you but a positive one so that you aren’t remembered for being too boisterous or anything like that. A career coach will be able to help you practice different networking techniques and may even be able to attend the events with you so that there is someone there who will help make you feel comfortable. Breaking through the barrier of uncomfortable greetings and walking up to the people at these events may seem like a daunting task, but once you do it you’ll be able to do it a hundred times more. Networking is a necessary part of working in the 21st century, you can be perfect on paper but knowing people will always be helpful. A career coach who knows people is a one of the most important resources to utilize during your time at university.