Having great communications and networking skills in college will go a long way in establishing your identity.
Here are some of the best tip from seniors on how to network better in your college as a fresher-
1. Build networking into your everyday routine
If the idea of networking is intimidating to your introvert-self, you’re not alone. But, with a little intention, you can start building your network during your everyday activities, like engaging with your professors and classmates.
Sometimes your professors and classmates can be some of your most valuable assets when it comes to job hunting. Not only can your professors offer valuable industry insight and advice, they’ve also taught some bright students in the past — what are they up to now? Sometimes those former students will email professors links to job openings: “Graduation is coming up… know any promising students who could take on this role?” By actually talking to your professors, it keeps your name in the back of their minds when this question arises.
2. Get involved on campus
There are a number of benefits to getting involved on campus. You’ll make friends, beef up your resume, and, yes, build your network.
There are a ton of ways to get involved on campus, including honor societies, professional clubs, social sororities and fraternities, jobs, student media, club spots — you name it. Not only will you be able to connect with a number of other students, you’ll also be able to connect with speakers, advisers, and mentors.
If your campus has an involvement or club fair, go! Or sign up for a campus email newsletter, peruse the bulletin boards in the study lounges or library, and talk to classmates and friends. As cheesy as it sounds, there’s something out there for everyone.
3. Pay a visit to your campus career center
Chances are, your campus has a career center full of free resource.
Find open internships or jobs posted by alumni, get tips on how to build your online presence, participate in a mock job interview, and learn about upcoming job fairs. Even if you aren’t actively looking for a job right now, it can’t hurt to stop by these job fairs. Shake hands with company representatives, pass your resume around, have conversations, learn what’s going on in your industry, and see where your potential future lies.
4. Develop your online presence
If the idea of talking to strangers makes you a little sweaty, don’t worry. You can also network from behind a screen — though not exclusively.
Start by building your online presence. If you haven’t already, create your LinkedIn profile. Depending on your industry, you might also want to make a website or start an online portfolio. Even if it’s a little sparse right now, you’re getting an awesome head start.
You can also leverage social media, as long as your profiles are cleaned up. Your school might even have an alumni group on Facebook, and these can be infinitely helpful. Alumni will often post job openings within their company, and if you’re a fit, you can reach out to the poster to learn more. You already have one thing in common (ahem, where you went to school), so start a conversation. Ask thoughtful questions about the company and the open position. They just might go to their manager on Monday morning and give you a glowing recommendation, putting you ahead of the pack.
5. Be open to new connections
Honestly, establishing a networking connection could happen anywhere. Maybe you’re at your bus stop and overhear a professor talking and politely join in. Or you’re in line at the local coffee shop and hear a fellow student chatting about the guest lecturer they’re excited about.
6. Don’t be afraid to make the first move
But really, don’t be afraid to make the first move when it comes to building your network. Confidence can go a long way! Our best small-talk tip? Be genuine. Don’t treat networking like a game of who can make the most connections or how many resumes you can pass around. Instead, genuinely take interest in who you’re talking to — who they are and what they do. Try to remember important information about them. If you have to, jot some notes down in your phone.
7. Maintain your networks
We can’t emphasize enough that networking is more than collecting business cards, passing out resumes, and gaining LinkedIn connections. It’s hard work, and you’ll want to invest some time in maintaining your networks. If you meet someone at a job fair, for example, shoot them an email afterward. Even if they don’t have your perfect job position open right now, let them know you appreciate the time they took to talk to you.
For brownie points, throw in something personal you learned during your conversation. This will show that you were genuinely listening, and they just might remember you when they’re hiring again.
I hope these networking tips help you.