Networking: The Key to a Post Grad Job?
After reading a great post about how to interview by Nick @ ayoungpro the first few lines really got me thinking once again about the difficulties for Millenials/Gen Y’s (or whatever you want to call us) to find a job after we graduate from school. It’s no secret that unemployment is rising for our age group and Canadian grads have rising amounts of debt, but what can we do to try and land that job after we graduate?
Networking: Is it the key?
What I’ve already learned after working a few co-op jobs throughout my university career is that it’s who you know that’s the most important and what you know ranks a little lower. Unfortunately it’s the hard truth and it took me a while to accept it. Networking is really important and it’s a topic I covered related to Twitter in a previous post as well. Here’s a list of some important people you should really consider networking and getting to know better;
Whether they are current employers or previous ones it’s really important to continue keeping in contact with those people whether its a quick phone call every so often or an email, or you can even grab a coffee when you’re in town. It’s really important to keep these relationships alive so you can reach out to them when you are working on finding a job after university. These individuals hold a lot of influence when it comes to helping you get a job, they have connections themselves, can help you land a job at your previous workplace and can really give you a leg up in the application process. There are a lot of jobs that can’t be found online, your previous employer can help you get a job that may not exist online. Keep in touch, use them as a reference (make sure you always have a list of 3 references) they will help you out when you’re really searching.
I know a lot of people tend to go to large universities/colleges and this may seem out of reach, but it really is still possible to reach out to your professor and build a relationship with them. Personally I haven’t found any job leads from a professor (as of yet), but I know people who have managed to get summer jobs at least because of a connection with their professor. Having a professor in your professional network is VERY important if you are hoping to take the route of a more academic career doing research, or even if you’re considering a masters or PHD. Make sure you don’t overlook including professors in your network.
Now your first thought may not be..my close friend is going to help me find a job..but yup it’s possible. If most of your peers are the same age this may not be as applicable when you’re searching for jobs after grad, but it will definitely help you in your future. Making friends and networking with peers at a summer job, co-op job or internship will help you branch out, meet individuals from different specialties and really help you out later in life. Make those relationships through networking, peers are probably an afterthought but are definitely important in the long run.
I’ve really begun to realize that the family connections you have are really important. It all really depends on the organization but there are definitely some great opportunities if you have a relative that works at a company. I know some people frown upon it, but in the end it may help your cause. Ask around at family get together’s and make sure that this isn’t a 4 cousin twice removed they may not be very comfortable suggesting you as a possible employee.
I haven’t really been able to maneuver one of these yet, but when applying for jobs on LinkedIn it does provide you with related info regarding your connections that may know the person that posted the job. Ideally you could send a message to them on LinkedIn and tell them about the job you are interested in, saw that they were connected to the poster and see what they can do for you. Make sure to provide a cover letter and resume still, you not likely to completely fly by the application process, but this may give you a bit of a leg up.
So that isn’t an exhaustive list and I’m sure there are other individuals to reach out to when it comes to networking. Make sure to continue to build your network but also not to neglect those that are already in it. Building a network may just be the way you get hired after graduation and may just be the key to success career-wise.