Keep up the Networking with these Summer Networking Tips

June 10, 2011 at 11:21 am | Posted in networking | Leave a comment
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Jyl McLaughlin

Students may be going home for the summer months and before they do, encourage them to network online and offline.  If students are working and doing internships they should maintain their motivation with networking for ongoing efforts to clarify their career path decisions or solidify contacts for the next opportunity.   Some tips for networking can be:

ONLINE

1)      LinkedIn:  With recent articles encouraging “young people” to use LinkedIn, students should develop and organize their LinkedIn profiles for a professional communication tool.  LinkedIn also updates and adds new features often such as a new beta Skills section that can show you contacts in fields related to your preferred skill sets.  Also, as others in one’s network adds contacts or makes profile changes updates are sent to your account.  This can keep you up-to-date on trends and changes with companies and industry.

2)      CareerAmp: A new feature that links Facebook connections and shows who you know in your Facebook network.  This system provides a variety of contacts that may not be on LinkedIn. When a friend joins CareerAmp , their friends become part of your network. This provides a more casual opportunity to find connections. HOWEVER, be sure your students are cleaning up their Facebook pages and keeping very social content under more private settings.

For Online Networking it is important to regularly remind your students of their “electronic footprint” and understand the importance of a “First Impression”.

OFFLINE

On the note of “First Impressions” students may be working common summer jobs such as restaurant services, life guarding, golf caddying, etc.  These are great environments for students to meet professionals and make a positive impression with good communication skills and work ethic.  Remind students that “less is more” in their approach to meeting professional contacts in a casual setting. Simply introducing themselves and sharing where they go to school and what they are studying is a great way to open conversation.

Another way to network “OFFLINE” is seeking ONE DAY shadowing opportunities at a parent’s, neighbor’s, or friend’s work place.  When job shadowing it can not only help explore occupations but meet others in the workplace.  Think of a student going to their uncle’s Accounting firm but meeting the Marketing Director or IT Specialist.  They can collect business cards and request another meeting with those in other occupational areas.

Finally, another OFFLINE networking opportunity is through volunteering.  Many students have altruistic interests and employers are increasingly looking at candidates who give back to the community. When volunteering, students have opportunities to meet experienced professionals, board members and other mentoring figures from all occupational and industry backgrounds.  This is a great way to find balance in one’s career exploration while feeling good about giving back!

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