According to Google, networking is defined as "interact[ing] with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one's career." Many college students struggle with the idea of networking and don't know how to start. The point is to meet people and expand your career opportunities!
Watch this Ted Talk about networking: "Be an Opportunity Maker."
Where Can I Meet New People?
- Online on LinkedIn
- At a professional or recreational Meetup
- Through professional associations
- At community events, like First Friday
- Through mutual connections
- Through Rollins Alumni Network Programs after graduation
- For more detail on these resources, scroll to the section: "Ways to Network"
Where Do I Start?
Networking can seem like a large task, It may feel overwhelming to feel you have to "work a room."
- Create a simple, realistic networking goal. Maybe it's attending one networking event a month. Meet 3 new people at one event. Or connect with 3 alumni of interest on LinkedIn.
- Brainstorm your personal brand. How do you want to introduce yourself to someone? How do you want to be distinguished from the rest of the crowd? Use the following worksheets to gain confidence in who you are and what you're looking for:
- Be ready to promote your personal brand. Consider creating business cards for yourself featuring your contact information, current position information, and career specialties/interests.
- Stay on top of your industry. Research the company putting on the event, who will be there, or what is going on your industry so you have some conversation starters. Subscribe to blogs by industry or company professionals.
- Relax. Networking is typically a learned skill. The more events you go to, the easier it will seem.
- Know someone who will be there. Plan to attend an event with a friend or introduce yourself ahead of time to someone who is already part of a networking group you hope to attend.
Ways to Network
Rollins Alumni Network - Upon graduation, you gain immediate access to exclusive alumni services and a network of more than 32,000 alumni who share your passion for Rollins. Through central alumni programs like the Alumni Career Network and regional Alumni Clubs, you can grow your contacts and build alumni connections across the country. Learn more about alumni opportunities and benefits.
Meetup.com - The world's largest network of local groups, organized to "meet up" face-to-face in over 180 countries. Search your geographic area for meetups based on:
- Recreational Interests: Cars & Motorcycles, Dancing, Writing, Food & Drink
- Professional Interests: Career & Business, Education & Learning, Movement & Politics
- Or Personal Identity: LGBT, Language & Ethnic Identity, Religion & Beliefs
Informational Interviews - Create your own networking opportunity by conducting an informational interview with someone who works in a company/career of interest.
LinkedIn - The world's largest online professional network. Read more about LinkedIn on the next tab. Keep connected with LinkedIn Apps.
Professional Associations - Within each industry/career field, there are typically locally chapters of professional organizations that provide continuing education and networking opportunities. To find professional associations:
- Use Google or Meetup.com to search associations by career field and location.
- Explore the Possibilities in Focus2 to choose a career and view typical associations related to the career.
- On What Can I Do With A Major, select a major and scroll to the bottom of its page to find related associations.
Community Events - Attend a Farmer's Market, a First Friday, or other community events in your area. Bring business cards and start conversations with vendors or other attendees. For a list of upcoming local events, consult your city's online event calendar or the calendar from your local Chamber of Commerce.
Find a local Chamber of Commerce.
What Is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet: ideal for current and developing professionals.
Who Uses LinkedIn?
Watch video: Why Use LinkedIn?
• More than 347 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
• Over 39 million students and recent college graduates
• Over 20,000 users affiliated with Rollins College (student, alumni, staff & faculty)
• Over 5,200 Rollins College Alumni Group members
• 93% of employers recruit through social media. Of these employers, 92% use LinkedIn.
Why Should You Use LinkedIn?
View LinkedIn Jobs for videos and tips
• To promote your professional brand
• To create an online, comprehensive version of your resume
• To connect with alumni and other professionals working in areas of interest
• To feature projects & presentations on your profile
• To get contacted by recruiters
• To research industries, companies, & graduate schools
How Do You Use LinkedIn?
1) Create a profile.
• Brainstorm your personal brand
• View LinkedIn profile checklist
• Design your headline & summary
• Manage your public LinkedIn profile
• Follow the LinkedIn Job Search Checklist
• Check out the LinkedIn Help Center for free webinars and tips.
2) Understand the navigation & how to access your privacy settings.
• View our LinkedIn Navigation Instructions
3) Connect with alumni, professionals, and recruiters.
• First, connect with people you know: your peers, friends, family, co-workers, faculty and staff
• Next, personalize a connection message introducing who you are and why you are contacting them
• Connect with Alumni using the Alumni Finder Tool
• Connect with Recruiters
• Join groups based on your interests to increase your potential connections
° Go to the Rollins College Alumni Group
° Learn about industry sub-groups for Rollins Alumni
How Do You Take LinkedIn To the Next Level?
1) Target your LinkedIn profile toward a particular industry
° Tailor your content to focus MORE on related experience
° List related skills and portray professional interests by following companies, groups, and influencers related to your industry
2) Engage with companies and people of interest
° Like or comment on their posts
° Publish your own article
NOTE: If you got content from somewhere else, add a reference list and give credit to the author!
° Ask a contact for an informational interview
3) Add skills related to your industry
° Ask your connections to endorse you for particular skills
° Endorse others for skills you know they have
4) Connect with recruiters
5) Request recommendations
° Ask your previous supervisor, co-worker or staff member to write a recommendation for your profile
Go To LinkedIn