According to LinkedIn, at least 85% of jobs are not advertised. This creates an information gap, making it more difficult for students to know what job openings are available. Fortunately, you can bridge this gap by becoming familiar with professional networking tips. This way, you’ll have greater access to jobs as well as other hidden opportunities.
How then can international students go about accomplishing this? Here’s how:
- Be bold
- Get your value statement ready
- Obtain references
- Get involved
- Maximize the web
- Keep networking
- Stay in touch
1. Be bold
Boldness is key when it comes to developing yourself through networking. It flows out of a strong and growing personal brand and image. Don’t be shy to approach your peers, lecturers, leaders, CEOs or politicians. Ask them questions that will help you grow in your career and life.
2. Get your value statement ready
One of the professional networking tips international students need to have is the ability to deliver an elevator pitch. It’s your unique way of introducing yourself, revealing your values, expertise, experience and competence. Where possible, sell yourself to potential employers, investors or mentors in such a way that they’ll want to buy into your ideas.
3. Obtain references
Obtaining references from your lecturers or previous employers is highly beneficial to your reputation and personal brand. A strong reference that talks about your work ethics and commitment can make up for your inability to attain a very high CGPA. Similarly, it creates a good impression of you.
4. Get involved
There are several organizations, societies and clubs that you can get involved with while in school. Joining at least one of them provides a good opportunity to connect with people and build strategic relationships. Undoubtedly, some people in these social circles may land you your dream job, earn you the needed funding or teach you a life skill.
5. Maximize the Web
Several blogs provide relevant information about openings in different careers. Social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter offer vital information about jobs. They also serve as platforms for connecting with alumni, CEOs and potential employers. This is one of the most essential professional networking tips for students.
6. Keep Networking
There’ll always be opportunities to connect with new people that’s why networking is a continuous process. It is wrong to conclude that the people you know are enough regardless of how many they are. From politely joining a conversation with new people or volunteering for a project to attending a social event, the benefits of networking are yours to explore.
7. Stay in Touch
Building a professional network is one thing, maintaining is another and is an all-important part of your success. To do this successfully, you can call periodically, send emails and chats to stay in touch.