11 Ways to Build Your Network After College

Today’s post is by, Angela Armstrong

You’re fresh out of college and looking for a job.  You’ve tried the  job boards, your school career counselor, etc. but nothing has worked.  So what’s next?  Networking is the key to career success and a great way to lead to your next job.  But you are not interested in attending stuffy networking events.  You’re in luck; just about anyone associated with your college experience can form the foundation of a solid network.

11 Connections You Should Make to Build Your Post-College Network

  1. Your Classmates – They may seem like competition, but no one knows  you better.   Since you will most likely be going through the job search at roughly the same time, they will know the openings out there.   This is also an excellent resource for information swapping.
  2. Alumni, especially recent graduates –   Recent alumni who’ve paved the way for you are more acquainted with the kinds of job you hope to land.    More established alumni may be far  removed from the kind of entry-level job you’d like, but they also may have the hiring power.    To find out updates about what alumni are doing check your college’s publications.  Look for alumni in your field and geographic location.
  3. Parents /Parents of Classmates – both can be a great resource for introducing you to new connections and getting tips on networking.
  4. Fraternity brothers, sorority sisters and Greek Organization Alumni –
  5. Coaches – Coaches can be an excellent network resource.  They care about their athletes and know lots of people.
  6. Guest Speakers – The professionals who come to speak to your classes are a vast untapped market.   After their presentation, introduce yourself and ask the best way to keep in contact with them.    By building a rapport and keeping in touch with them, this could lead to something.
  7. Current and Former employers –  Most student today can get through college without having a a job at some point.  Even if your job is not in your career field, your employer can still be a useful networking contact.
  8. Members of your religious community –your campus ministry or congregation back home can provide a wealth of contacts.
  9. Members of professional organizations – most colleges sponsor student chapters of professional organizations, which are rich sources of networking contacts.   Your network efforts will benefit from a student membership in the nearest professional chapter.
  10. Peer Volunteers – Volunteering can provide an abundant networking opportunities and college is a great time to get started.  You are only making a difference but also making some productive connections
  11. Informational Interviewees –  this is an excellent way to learn about the realities of the work world and what to expect.   People generally are open to informational interviews as it gives them a chance to talk about their industry and give advice.

You’ve heard it before that once a Greek always a Greek.  This network can begin to work for you almost immediately, not only with your current peers but with alumni, who may be able to assist you.

Take a look around you; there are always great resources and contacts to begin building your network.   Put yourself out there and connect.  You are on your way to a fabulous career.

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