7 ways to network like a pro
Do you want to understand the global language of networking?
Networking is all about building connections, sharing knowledge and getting yourself known.
Firstly, think about how you’d like others (particularly potential employers) to see you.
That’s where your ‘elevator pitch’ comes in. If you had only two minutes with a potential employer, how would you describe yourself?
Think about who you are: What’s unique about you? What are your career interests? What do you have to offer a potential employer?
Okay, so you’ve got a clear idea of who you are and where you’re headed. But, how do you actually go about networking and, more importantly, where?
Here are our top tips for networking success.
1. Rub shoulders with your university careers department
You can guarantee your university careers service is hooked into their local job market, knows local employers and has a firm handle on who’s who.
Talk to them, learn from them and actively grow your connections through them.
They’ll also know about local professional networking events and opportunities to meet with employers.
2. Job fairs are great for networking
They bring together local (and, often national) employers who are actively looking for new talent like you.
Go prepared – this is where your ‘elevator pitch’ really comes into its own. Do your research about the employers attending, considering who to focus your efforts on.
Job fairs are great opportunities but the better prepared you are, the more you’ll get from them.
3. Talk to your lecturers
Teachers and lecturers have plenty of insight, not just about employers, but where you personally might fit in.
They’ve supported hundreds of other international students like you, so make use of their experience and knowledge.
They may even introduce you to new connections – other students, staff or professionals.
4. Get involved in extra-curricular activities
Societies and clubs can be a great way to get to know people, not just fellow students but staff and people in the local community, often including employers.
A key part of networking is getting to know people and developing yourself.
Get stuck into your university’s societies and clubs right from the start – they’re a great way to build on your English skills, understand more about the culture and have fun too!
5. Attend presentations
Employer presentations often take place in your centre or university. Take advantage of these to learn more about the company and get yourself known.
Again, do your research to make the most of these events. Have a clear idea of what you want to take away from the presentation.
Company websites are a good starting point but they often don’t tell the full picture, so think about what you really want to know about them – and what it’s like to work for them.
6. Surround yourself with positive people
Your classmates can be your strongest support – and advocates.
Invest your time in getting to know other students and you’ll benefit in many ways. Work on your friendships and you’ll learn from, and support, each other.
You’ll also be able share connections and networking opportunities.
7. Get social media savvy
Don’t underestimate the power of social media when it comes to networking.
Employers and professional societies use social networks like LinkedIn. Follow employers of interest and industry-related recruitment consultants.
Join groups, read articles and actively engage in conversations. And, when the time comes, use social media to search for jobs.
Remember it’s as much about who you know, as well as what you know, so make sure you network successfully to open up as many career opportunities as possible.
You may also like to read how to write a winning CV or how to create an awesome LinkedIn profile.
If you would like to find out more about INTO Study and how we can help you achieve your dreams of studying abroad, discover more on the INTO Study website by clicking here.
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