Networking isn’t the most fun thing in the world and can seem daunting at first; but have no fear, a peer advisor is here is to give you some advice on how to make the best out of your networking process!
From a professional standpoint, the reason you network is to gain professional relationships with recruiters and employees so they can potentially assist you in the next step in your career. It sounds scary, but in reality you actually network all the time! You do it with your friends, family, professors etc. You’re always talking to people who could help you achieve a certain goal or give your helpful resources. Networking has already been a part of your life and you’ve already been practicing, so breathe a sigh of relief.
The conversations you have at a career oriented event on campus or any professional event is to help you explore the industries you’re interested in. This is accomplished by talking to employees who are already where you want to be. They are the ones who can give you the full scoop on what it’s really like and put you in touch with other people in the company that they think would be useful to you. If maintained appropriately, they can tell you what they’re looking for in new hires and potentially give you advice on your resume in order to help you stand out.
Networking no-no’s include walking into a networking event expecting a job from someone right then and there. This isn’t the time to ask employees if they want to hire you, it’s to develop a professional relationship. Secondly, do not hand them your resume unless they ask you for one. Thirdly, do not leave their contact information behind and forget to follow up with them. Following up shows them that you’re dedicated to learning more about the company and how you would be a good fit.
Overall, networking is a part of daily life and it’s important because it can expose you to new opportunities and great people that are willing to help you. Now that you have the tools and knowledge, go out there and get those contacts! The Career Center is always here to help when you need it.