Sunday February 28, 2016

Networking, Networking, Networking

By Noelle Jacobs

Networking networking networking. As a college student, that word is thrown at you more and more every single day. We are told that we need to build our professional networks as much as possible to increase our chances of getting a full time job right out of school. The other word we hear relentlessly is resume. Build up your resume! Join organizations (to put on your resume)! Do this activity and that activity so that it can go on your resume! It's hard. Being told that you constantly have to build yourself up professionally is a lot of pressure especially when there’s so many other things going on with classes and friends and perhaps work. While it is all difficult to juggle and it seems like there’s always something else that needs to be done to better yourself and secure your future, it’s been really good for me to recognize that, of course, all of the people telling me that I need to do these things are right. I have taken advantage of opportunities to network and to build up my resume in order to collect myself and my experiences.

One specific example of this is the free resume review that takes place on campus. The school brings in HR people from various companies who literally just sit and wait for you to come and discuss your resume with them. They offer guidance, critique, and answers to any questions you may have. I was dreading going to this small little event, but I am so happy I went because it turned out to be extremely valuable. I got really helpful advice on how to refine my resume even more and make myself more presentable in the eyes of an HR representative. I was also able to make some connections and get business cards from different companies that could serve as huge helps in my goals of securing a co-op and eventually, a full time job.

These events seem pointless and often times, redundant, but they are valuable and even if you don’t get any good advice about your resume, it’s more practice with professional interaction under your belt which is never a bad thing. Take advantage of all of the opportunities, even the small ones, because you never know where they can lead.

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