Your network is a group of people with whom you are connected. They include family, friends, work colleagues, instructors, and others. If you have not looked within your network to see how you can connect to job opportunities, it is time to start. If you are applying to a position in an organization, think about who in your network may have an affiliation with that organization and reach out to them. Let them know you are applying for a position.
You can use networking as a way to expand your connections. You may also seek out networking events and membership with professional organizations.
Networking Events – Networking events are happening all the time. They may not be promoted as networking events, but any event that has a gathering of people can become an opportunity for you to network. Take time to engage in conversation, let others know you are in a job search, and see what type of information you can gather.
Professional organizations offer many advantages:
- Professional development opportunities.
- Continued learning.
- Keeping up to date on current news and trends related to the organization’s purpose.
- Networking – get and stay connected with individuals in your field.
CareerOneStop: CareerOneStop’s Professional Association Finder is a service through the US Department of Labor. You can search by industry, occupation or association name.
Don’t forget, many organizations offer student discounts on their membership fees. Take advantage of that while you are a student and grow your network.