When you’re networking, it’s important to be strategic and intentional with your efforts. The right person could hook you up with a great opportunity. That’s why you don’t want to waste time networking with random people when you need to get a job as soon as possible. Here are a few ways you can meet people in your target industry:
- Focus on our Longwood alumni network.
You have access to a HUGE network of alumni you already have something in common with - your Alma Mater! It also gives you exclusive access to professional development opportunities, digital and regional events and other resources that can help you thrive in your career. The Alumni finder tool on Longwood’s Linkedin page is a must-use asset to finding fellow graduates whose professional path you might want to follow.
- Make a list of companies in your industry.
Be intentional. Make a list of all of the top ten companies you’d like to work for in the place you plan or hope to live, and reach out to their employees on LinkedIn. Again, remember to start with Longwood alumni. When you invite them to connect, explain that you’re looking to learn more about the industry and the company that person works for, and ask if they’d be willing to have a quick conversation, a.k.a, an informational interview. They might not always respond (people are busy!), but it’s a really easy way to connect with targeted individuals.
- Attend events in Handshake and keep an eye on more in-person events soon.
All Longwood students and recent graduates have access to Handshake. Employers around the world including many here in Virginia host virtual events in Handshake. As things start to open-up again post COVID-19, attend events that attract people from your target industry! Getting some face time with people at these events is a fantastic way to connect. Plus, people go to these events LOOKING to talk with people like you, so definitely use that to your advantage.
- Take a class or attend a workshop.
Going to trainings, classes, or workshops is another great way to meet people in your target industry. Think about it: you’re going to be in the same room learning the same stuff. So, conversations will come more naturally because you have something in common. They will also see that you’re actively upskilling, which can be helpful when you’re marketing yourself. We highly recommend our free Linkedin Master’s Class.
Meeting people in your target industry isn’t hard when you know where to look! Try these activities and see how big your network can grow.
If you’d like some help with any of these tools or would like to speak with a member of the Office of Alumni & Career Services, email us at career@Longwood.edu.