For many experts, networking is one of the best things soon-to-be graduates and recent grads can do to land a job, and it is the first thing that David Pinkley, founder of Resume Sage, suggests. As he remarked in our post last week, students should begin “lobbying” for a job the summer between their junior and senior years. For students, this means having career goals, and a clear introduction for potential networking contacts.
First Pinkley suggests that students should identify the kinds of companies they want to work for. However, he advises students to avoid starting their search with their top choices for companies. “You don’t want to start looking at the companies you would really want to look for until you have greater experience,” says Pinkley. Instead, he suggests looking for their competitors, and smaller corporations in that same sector/industry. He says that especially at smaller companies, you have a greater chance to take on more responsibility, as well as to be exposed to more versatile tasks and experiences.
Pinkley also suggests rallying people to your cause. Maintaining important contacts that could speak to a student’s abilities and experiences is important. In an article we read by Kristi Hedges at Forbes, Hedges says “Most people get jobs from connections, so this is the path to land your job.” For this reason, students should focus a great deal of their job-searching efforts on making and maintaining these connections. For while resume and cover letter writing is important, it is the personal and distinguishing factors that will really land you a job.