Traveling around and speaking at a number of Universities I am often struck by the number of students that leave the actual business of finding a job right to the last minute, as secondary to all things academic. Whilst I understand this, there is a danger that you (the student) leave with your qualification but then you have to scramble very quickly to find that job. But I know that you can already handle a number of different tasks simultaneously. After all, life at University isn’t one project and then another, but more a series of projects all at the same time. With that in mind you can add in another project whilst studying which is namely, building your contact database.
You will find that the connections you make and the relationships that can come from those contacts will be invaluable to you as you go through your career. Many employers will want to know if you are connected or not. Being connected will show that you are ‘moving and shaking’ in the industry and that will be good for you. Having people with different levels of expertise in your network will also be useful and will certainly add to your depth of knowledge of the industry.
In my experience, LinkedIn is the place to go. I know there are other platforms but this is the one that works for me. I can create my account, update my profile as often as I like and can keep up to date with all that is happening to the people in my network (as they too will be updating their profiles as they change role/move etc). It’s worth remembering that everyone is connected to someone and their contacts could be useful to you. Also and as importantly, that your connections will be moving around as no one (or very few) stay in the same role for their whole career.
Start your additional project of building your contact database today:
- Begin with your University lecturer information as a start point (lecturers will be connected to the industry and will have connections)
- Join LinkedIn and create your profile
- Ask people if you can connect with them
- Just keep connecting on a regular basis
Whilst this post has placed emphasis on you asking for connections, keep in mind that event industry professionals will be interested in what you are doing and where you may be heading in your career.
Start today, you will not regret it. You can of course link in with Liz King and I to begin. How is that for an offer? Good luck.