Networking as a verb is not something we all grew up doing. As humans, we all value a substantive network that is something that transcends culture, class, and race. We can figure out how to connect with a stranger at a party, but the moment we call it a networking event, a lot of us are struck by a paralyzing fear. “Networking” seems like something only the professionals do, and it’s sometimes hard for students to realize who exactly their “network” is.
College is one of the most significant opportunities for us to grow our networks. It is unlikely that you will have access to this many people from so many different backgrounds, interests, and professional paths again. Your classmates could one day be industry leaders, so it is less sketchy to connect with them now than it would be in ten years when they might have forgotten you went to school together (no one wants to feel like people are only reaching out to them only because they are successful).
Besides establishing your network, there are other benefits to setting up your LinkedIn profile now. And you will ask, “Why do I need another account to keep up with?” and I’ll tell you:
- Recruiters are on LinkedIn—it’s where they spend most of their time. If you aren’t on LinkedIn, they aren’t seeing you, and you’re missing out on job opportunities.
- It is the easiest way to brand yourself online, giving you more control over your online presence and reputation when you are Googled.
- Learn about your industry, connect with alumni, ask for informational interviews, make connections. See how the person with your dream job got there.
- FIND A JOB!
- Establish your network. I know I talked about this at the beginning of the blog post, but I cannot stress how important it is to begin growing your network now. It may seem intimidating at first, but it will be worth it.
Having a LinkedIn profile that is set up well can give you the confidence you need to jump into the networking pool. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, on November 7th, the Career & Internship Services Center (CISC) will host Link Up with LinkedIn, where we can help you create your profile and put your best foot forward. Gussy up and get your headshot taken by a pro. Meet with staff and recruiters to have a profile review on-site. Or come to the Lunch & Learn where we’ll have a recruiter from Coakley Williams to teach students what recruiters look for in a profile and how you can maximize your LinkedIn presence.
All of CISC looks forward to seeing you there, in the meantime link up with USG and join the CISC group on LinkedIn. I would love to hear what you are looking forward to the most on November 7th.