The Office of Career Services holds proudly to their slogan, “Career Services. We’ve got the Connections.”
But as always, Career Services wants to reach out to the students and teach them the best ways to network and form relationships to further their job search and career. Here are the top ten ways to create connections.
1. The University of Tampa Alumni Association
A fantastic way to start your networking process is to get in touch with this group. Alumni feel connected to undergrads and you can use this program to take advantage of the connections they have. Reach out to this alumni association to find out about those who are in your job field. Check http://www.alumni.ut.edu to learn more about their services.
LinkedIn is such an important tool because it lets you find people in your industry, while also connecting you to those that you wouldn’t have known otherwise. Definitely sign up on this website, and immerse yourself into the web of connections.
3. Classmates, Parents and Families
One of the best networking resources is using the people who are closest to you. If you reach out to your parents, they can reach out to their colleague, who will talk to their boss, who will ask a friend and before you know it you could have an interview lined up with a potential employer. Don’t think that just because you are closest with your classmates, parents and family that you know everyone they do. Keep an open mind and remind them of your interests and major. They could have a connection without even knowing it.
4. Seek a reciprocal
agreement between your schools career center and a school near your home.
Although Career Services offers their services even while you are home for the summer, sometimes it helps to be able to walk into a career office and talk face to face. A local university may also know about job openings that aren’t listed nationally. Check into your local university and see if they have a reciprocal agreement with The University of Tampa Office of Career Services so their students can use our office’s resources and you, in turn, can use the other university’s career office resources.
Faculty are an important resource for making connections. They witness your work ethic and know your strengths within the classroom. Faculty witness how you take on leadership roles on campus and within your community. Keep positive relationships with faculty and staff so you can utilize their connections when the time comes.
6. Any service provider: your hairdresser, physician, dentist, vet or anyone who provides a service for you!
You think the only benefit of that new haircut is a fresh look? Think again. Your hairdresser could be your ticket to your dream job. Or your doctor could know someone who has a job opening. Where ever you go, whatever you do, hold a conversation, create a relationship, and always be open-minded.
7. Informational interviews and job shading
These things may not seem appealing to those who like to get paid for everything they do. But an informational interview or job shadowing will not only give you tools that will help you land an interview and job, but it will show your dedication and strong work ethic to the person you are interviewing with or shadowing. These people will remember the students who reached out to them.
8. Volunteer and community service
Doing good things for the community can help you too. Get involved in a volunteer project or a philanthropic activity you enjoy. While building a house, feeding the homeless or walking for a cause, you can also building relationships and meeting people for your job search.
Internships are so important for your resume, and a vital way to gain real world experience. In addition to working in the industry of your future career, an internship will allow you to witness the work ethic of those with more experience than you. Sometimes an internship can lead to a future full-time job, but, if not, you will have made connections with your colleagues who will be able to help you out in the future.
Yes, the final tip for building connections is just to do anything! It doesn’t matter who you talk to, everyone has a connection to someone and you can benefit from that. Work your conversations at the gym, your place of worship, the grocery store, anywhere you go, you can build a network of people.
The office of Career Services will help provide all the connections they possibly can. It is up to you to build your own network though and create relationships to help you build your future.
Check www.ut.edu/career to learn about all the services Career Services has to offer.