Student Networking to a Career
Our experience has shown that the majority of students look for work in the traditional sense (applying for jobs with cover letter and resume in response to job advertisements). This approach is normally met with very little success.
It is important to know what to expect. Many people expect to find a job by simply applying for positions through a job website. When they are not successful, they become discouraged. In fact, they have a 5-28% of finding a job through a posting system.
Understand why Networking works
You will hear time and again that 80% of jobs are never advertised so how will you be able to source out these opportunities? In order to do so, you will need to make sure employers know you are looking for work. Many employers do not want to advertise opportunities - it is a hassle as it becomes an exercise in paperwork and finding time to review resumes, set up interviews and schedule time away from work to conduct interviews. Employers want to be confident that who they are hiring is right for the job. These employers prefer to ask someone they already know and have worked with before (and trust) to fill openings. Next to this, they will likely ask for referrals. When an employer is looking for an individual with specific skills, attitudes, and behaviours he/she will identify someone with these skills and assume that s/he associates with other people with the same skills, attitudes, and behaviours. It is when they are desperate and unable to find someone that they will advertise the position.
You want to position yourself as the person they think of when they have an opportunity OR the person they refer to their friends/colleagues as someone who could do their work. To do this, they need to know you, your skill set and that you are available for work.
Think of this not as a job search, but as a way to build a network in the community where you want to live and work.
To this end, Equals6 is important because you get to know the personality of companies and the people who work for them. Use Equals6 as a resource even when you aren't in active job search. It is about connecting, networking, information.. how do you know what you want to do when you don't know what options are available to you? Equals6 lets you find out what the options are... who is hiring and what they have to offer.
A key consideration about networking is that you need to network with people significantly before you need something from them. Networking when you're looking for a job is more difficult so start early. Identify the companies that you would like to work with. If they sponsor community events then make sure you attend. Engage with them on Twitter and other sources. Find out who run the departments that you would like to work in and try to meet with them for an informational interview. Never forget that people hire people and human nature is such that familiarity provides comfort. You want to be top of their mind when it comes time to filling new positions.