It would be incorrect to think that a professional network is built at the beginning of a career. In reality, a professional network is built during your student years ! Being a student and networking are far from being mutually exclusive; It is even a valuable tool to maximize your chances of finding a job quickly and meeting professionals in your field of activity. As a student, how do you build your professional network and who to turn to?
Reaching out to the right people
Internships, lecturers, teachers... so many professionals at your fingertips!
Developing your professional network is a long-term and long-term process. You won't be able to find a job overnight, be aware of that. It's best to start early and target different professionals in your life. Indeed, your professional network mobilizes all the communities to which you belong. First of all, think about these different communities: your high school, your university, your internships, the members of your extracurricular activities, the members of your associative life...
1) Your former teachers
Throughout our school career, we have all already met caring teachers, who have accompanied and advised us in our professional life. It is very important to keep in touch with them and keep them updated on your progress. You can contact them for various reasons: to obtain information about the jobs you are targeting, possible professional contacts, advice on how to improve your applications, a recommendation for a possible position, etc. If you keep in touch, you can then build a mentoring relationship that will bear fruit in your research.
2) Former classmates
If you are still a student, do not hesitate to create a first circle of contacts within your university ! It is very important to maintain good relationships with your classmates, as well as with people who are moving into fields that interest you.
In addition, as a student, you have probably met people from previous classes of your course. It's time to connect with them! Ask them how they got their first job and if there are any opportunities at certain companies.
3) Internship tutors
One of the best cards to play is that of your internships, since the professionals you meet generally work in a field that you like! In addition, these people know you professionally and know what your skills are. They will then be better able to advise you, write you letters of recommendation or put you in touch with other professionals. Hopefully, these people will be the ones to offer you a job at the end of your internship!
Social networks to create your professional network
If you want to develop your professional network, the first thing you need to do is register on LinkedIn and create a solid profile! Feel free to update your profile regularly and be actif.ve by posting, commenting, and resharing content. Linkedin's algorithm will put you in the spotlight a lot more if it sees that your profile is complete, that you log in and interact with other users often .
Of course, it's also an opportunity to add to your connections all the professionals mentioned that you met during your school career. It is very common for them to share internship and job offers to which you can apply directly. To do this, take good care of your image on social networks! Pay attention to the profile picture you use and keep it looking professional while remaining authentic. If you are interested in a company, do not hesitate to contact its employees and directors. This will demonstrate your motivation and professionalism and at the same time allow you to expand your professional network.
You now know that your professional network is built before you find your first job. Networking as early as possible gives you access to better opportunities and familiarizes you with a field of activity. Above all, remember to remain grateful to the contacts who have helped you in this process and inform them about the evolution of your career. Indeed, it is not enough to create a professional network, it is necessary to maintain it so that it accompanies you throughout your career!
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