March 24th, 2010
Talking to people you know about job leads can be one of the best ways to find one. About 60 percent of people find new jobs through contacts, such as acquaintances, friends, and even family. Therefore, when it comes to the job search, networking can be a vital tool that should not be underestimated. It might sound scary, but networking is simply making contacts and establishing relationships with people for professional and business purposes. It can be a valuable resource when it comes to looking for a job, getting career advice, or looking for business opportunities. Networking is not only something you should do while looking for a job, it is something you should think about long before. But if between studying and tailgating, you forgot to establish professional contacts, don't worry. As a college graduate, you already have a network you can utilize for career purposes and you can build it through former professors and classmates.
First, remember that any professor that has ever taught you is a professional who not only has many credentials, but also contacts. Most likely, professors who have taught you in classes specifically related to your degree have a good deal of experience in the career field you are interested in. They are not only a part of your network, but they are also likely to know other people who you can network with as well. Take the time to contact them and ask them about their previous job experiences, where they worked before they started to teach, and if they can refer you to anyone who might be able to help you. You never know, they might have a previous boss or coworker in your hometown that you may be able to contact about job-related information or advice.
Second, remember to keep in touch with college friends and classmates for networking purposes. Anyone you have gone to school with can be a useful contact, especially those that have graduated with your same major. Anyone you met in your degree program most likely will or already is working in a related industry. Contact them, see where they are working now, and ask them about it. A former classmate might just be the person you need to talk to find out about a job opportunity, or be able to refer you to someone who does. You never know, someone you took a class with a few semesters ago could end up being your coworker or even one day your boss. Or you, theirs.