A quality resume is certainly a necessity. For many jobs, counting on people in your professional network to speak positively on your behalf may carry more weight than even the most well-crafted resume and cover letter. However, developing a network can be difficult and time consuming. Despite the challenges, it is essential you build a network early on in your professional life.
Choose Your Major Early
According to a study by Dr. Fritz Grupe, founder of MyMajors.com, 50% of college students changed their majors at least once while in college. Unless your new major is closely related to your original major, your professional network will most likely have to be rebuilt completely from scratch. However, you shouldn't stay enrolled in a major you don't like. The sooner you can decide on the career path that's right for you, the sooner you can begin to build your network. Social Media
Social media sites like LinkedIn are very effective network building tools. These platforms provide opportunities to build relationships with others. You can read up on the best way to make LinkedIn work for you. Participating in LinkedIn groups related to your field can be a great way to get conversations started. Find the Executives
If you're a college student, building a network full of other college students might allow you to exchange ideas, but it will likely do very little to help you get a job or move up in your current position. Look for executives, managers and others already established in the industry. It may be intimidating at first, but the more you practice the better you'll become. Starting conversations with upper-level executives is a skill that will pay off when you start interviewing for jobs. Join a Group
Nearly every career path has a professional organization. Often, these groups will offer discounts for student members. Once you're a member, you'll likely receive invitations to industry conferences and...