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Students: How to Network with Potential Employers

After you finish college the natural next step is to find your first job in your field. This can be an intimidating process but there are some steps you can take to get in front of the employers you are trying to work with and increase your job opportunities.

Be Prepared

It’s important to make sure to create an appealing resume before you begin your job search. Take the time to think about your past experiences, education, accomplishments and past work history to include in your resume. Make sure to include aspects that are directly related to the jobs that you are applying for.

Along with your resume, compile a list of references that will be able to shed a light on the kind of employee you will be as well as the person that you are. Make sure to contact these references ahead of time so that they are aware you are using them as a reference and verify they are willing to speak on your behalf.

Social connections

Social media is a great source to share your information as well as to have availability to employers’ information. A frequently used platform is LinkedIn. LinkedIn offers a great opportunity to reach out and connect with employers and other courses that have access to thousands of jobs. You can search by company, title, or any number of factors to find the professionals who can help you land an interview or even a job.

It may seem odd with some social media platforms to reach out to employers, but LinkedIn is a “professional” networking site where people go to find job seekers.

Pro tip: Evaluate your online presence. While there are positives to social media, keep in mind that employers are also able to search and find things on your personal social media accounts that may be “not so professional.” It’s important to remember the things you post now can easily be seen. More than half of hiring managers will look at an applicant’s social media profiles when reviewing a candidate’s qualifications. You can never be too careful. Consider setting your social media profile to “private” – especially during your job search!

Attend events in your field

Take advantage of events, conferences, and opportunities that are related to your career interests. This is a great time to make connections with employers as well as others already in your field. Learn from their experiences and make connections that could lead to a job opportunity. Make sure to dress well, show up on time, be prepared to answer questions that make come up in conversation and introduce yourself. If you are asked questions, make sure to elaborate with more than a yes or no answer to leave an impression. Even if you are speaking to someone that isn’t currently looking for a new employee, you never know when that person could become a potential employer.

Easy access

Job openings are easily accessible at the click of a couple of keys on your computer. Make use of all of the great websites that are available to search for job postings. There are more sites than a person can imagine but here are the top five according to Robert Half Job Seeker.

College Central Network

Iowa Valley Community College District has a service dedicated specifically for employers to connect with students looking for employment and as well as helping students prepare for the job search! The College Central Network website is a free resource to current IVCCD students, alumni, community members, and employers. This allows students to build a resume, add a portfolio, and connect with local employers. This is also a great source for employers to find you!

Making connections throughout your education, job search as well as while working in a current position can last you forever and will help you in your future employment goals. Check out Iowa Valley Community College District Central Network to get a jump start in the employment process!

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