Regardless of the industry, company, or role your pursuing in your career, networking is the best way to find (and snag) opportunities. Here are a few tips that will help you network your way into any industry:
Identify accessible networking opportunities.
Even if you don’t have a car, there are still plenty of ways to connect with people. Look at your bus route to see what you have access to in your area, leverage Longwood University’s network, and develop professional relationships with your professors. All of these activities can help you build a strong, strategic network that can help you land a job
Get to know the key players.
Figure out what companies you’d like to learn more about and identify the best person to contact. If you can’t connect with the CEO, think of who else might be a valuable contact. It could be a recruiter, hiring manager, department head, or someone else. Then, reach out and invite them to connect on LinkedIn or introduce yourself to that person at an event.
Craft a clear introduction
When you introduce yourself to people, what do you say? Are you being clear and intentional with your introduction? Make sure you craft a simple branding statement that conveys your value. For example, “My name is Linda Smith. I’m a Business major with a passion for translating analytics so they can be used to improve marketing strategies.” A short statement like this allows the other person to understand who you are and how you add value. It also sets them up for great layup questions to keep the conversation going.
Ask the right questions.
Don’t ask random questions that won’t give you the answers you need. Make sure you’re strategic with what you ask so you learn as much about the industry, key players, and companies as possible. This will help you get the information you need to stand out as a candidate. It will also help you determine if a particular industry, company, or role is right for you.
When you ask those insightful questions, be sure to LISTEN to the answers. They hold valuable nuggets of information that can inspire you, confirm your assumptions, or reveal major red flags. If someone is willing to take the time to share this information with you, make the most of it and listen carefully.
If you want to work in a particular industry, be sure to do the activities above. They will help you network your way into a job that can lead to a successful career. For more help with your job search, head over to career services at Longwood University - both students and alumni are encouraged to leverage this resource. Check it out!