Networking is a tool that can help you open many doors by educating people on who you are and what you are interested in. Sometimes networking can be awkward, but there are ways to combat this. Here are some key ways to help you start networking today.
This may seem obvious, but when you create your LinkedIn account spend some time tailoring it to showcase who you are. You are not only updating it’s content, but you are also making connections with professors, acquaintances and professionals. By using LinkedIn, you are showing professionals that you care about your brand and how you are representing yourself to the masses.
One of the easiest ways to connect with professionals is by following and engaging with them on social media. Find professionals whose interests align with yours and make an effort to engage with them and their content. It is an easy way to build relationships with people who may not be in your immediate vicinity.
If you have a personal blog or website, be sure to promote it across your social media platforms and on your resume. If you are producing quality content, you can attract professionals who are interested in the same topics. It is a quick way to build credibility with professionals by showing them that you are dedicated to producing engaging content on schedule.
Informational interviews help you make new connections and show that you are passionate about what the company does. Reach out to a company via email and express that you are interested in learning about the industry and what they do on a daily basis. They may not be hiring at the time, but when conducting informal interviews, you could possibly be building connections with them. When the company is hiring, you may come first to mind.
Take advantage of on-campus events. Many jobs and internships are already filled because of a personal connection to the company. Networking can help you obtain these connections. Events provide people with the atmosphere to have a conversation with a professional. Whether the event is put on by the UO Career Center or PRSSA, they are there to help you make these connections. When at these events, come prepared with your personal business cards and make it a point to get theirs as well. Be sure to follow-up a few days after the event and bring up something you remember talking with them about. Don’t forget to thank them for their time because it’s all about making a great impression!
Lauren Todd, Internal Events Director, plans internal events for UO PRSSA, in effort to build relationships within the group. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys assisting with weddings and staying up to date on the world of pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @Lauren_Todd.