Career experts estimate that the vast majority of job openings, up to 60% or more, are never advertised or publicly announced but filled through networking. Even with this information, many job seekers fail to use networking to its fullest in finding a job.
Networking means developing a list of contacts and using them and their knowledge of your career field when conducting your job search. These contacts may be able to give you job leads and other contacts to add to your network. Family, friends, and neighbors are the best places to start creating your network. Here are three important steps in starting your network:
Anyone that you know can be a potential contact for your job search. Start your list with: family, friends, relatives, faculty, alumni, co-workers. Be as organized as possible!
Contact Your Network
Once you have developed your initial list of contacts for your network, begin contacting them by phone, mail, or email. Communicate your needs so they will know how best to help you with your job search.
It is important to keep your network informed of the progress of your job search. Always thank them, either by note, email, or phone call for their efforts.
Career fairs are a great way to gather information about possible internships and full-time positions in your career field. They can also be beneficial in developing additional contacts for your network. The University Career Center provides a variety of career fairs and workshops for students to attend each year.
An internship is a planned learning experience, in which a student spends time in the workplace under the supervision of workplace personnel, "learning by doing". Interns take the knowledge and skills learned in the class room and apply them in real-life work situations, learning from professionals while they explore and experience career options.
For students who are wanting to use their undergraduate degree to pursue a full-time position in their chosen career field, it is strongly recommended that they complement their academic preparation with experiences offered by their university. This can be accomplished by participating in or becoming a member of:
- Study abroad programs
- Community service projects
- Undergraduate research experiences
- Participation in athletic programs
- Student organizations
- Pre-professional organizations
Freed-Hardeman University strongly believes in educating our students in the importance of internships in their career development. By working with companies and alumni connections, we are striving to develop internship positions in all academic fields.