News We Can Use: Poll Shows Importance of Networking for “No Regrets”

According a survey released this week, a vast majority (71 percent) of recent college graduates would have done something differently while in college to better prepare for the job market. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed wish they had done more networking prior to graduation; about a quarter said they should have started their job search earlier and about the same wished they had applied to more gigs.

But, whether you’re about to don a cap and gown or you’re just thinking about graduating to your next opportunity, this is absolutely news you can use to better your own career:

1) Make connections. In Be Your Own Best Publicist, we share networking tips for situations from informational interviews to professional organizations — even cocktail parties. In this day and age, where almost 80 percent of senior jobs are filled via personal connections, it’s important for you to know people and, more importantly, for them to know you.

 

2) Enlist advocates. For the most part, gone are the days that recruiters will be knocking on your door or hitting campus to recruit. Instead, map a plan to get from Point A to Point B — and start mobilizing your forces (alumni, friends, parents, former bosses) to make sure they are aware of your wishes.

 

 
 
3) Stay in touch. Make it a point to remain connected with people, touching base throughout the year. This doesn’t have to be complicated or formal — a simple check-in or “happy birthday” via Facebook or direct message via Twitter can do the trick to keeping you top-of-mind.
 
4) Be social. We just met a young woman who found her current job at a social media agency through — you guessed it — social media! She followed someone on Twitter, started an online dialogue with him, which lead to an in-person meeting and, ultimately, a job offer. Even if you don’t know people in your industry, following them on Twitter, retweeting their wisdom, and even reaching out to them on LinkedIn, will help you form a relationship that could be beneficial.

5) Be an information hound. By talking to as many people as you can and trying to elicit feedback, you’ll continue to glean information about your desired industry, your competition, your coveted company, etc. You can then use these insights to further hone your personal pitch to land that coveted position.

What’s your networking success story? Share with us here, on Facebook or on Twitter.

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