Helping Students Find Jobs: Connections Beyond the Career Center

Hopefully, your students know about the resources available to them through your career center’s various offerings. In an ideal world, they’d apply for jobs through your school’s job board regularly, attend career fairs, and that would be enough for them to land a perfect entry-level position. For some students, though, additional resources will be needed, and they’ll have to tap into other sources for an extra networking boost. Make sure your students are aware of these three categories of relationships, beyond their relationship with your team, that can help them make important professional connections.

Relationships With Your School’s Alumni

Alumni are one of the most valuable groups of people to help your school’s current students because they already share something important in common – your school. Loyal alumni will often “see themselves” in younger students, reminding them of their own professional challenges when they first started out in their careers. This will often encourage them to lend a helping hand to the younger generation.

Tools like CSM provide a perfect network for students to meet alumni who could become important and influential mentors. The Professional Network module allows for alumni and willing mentors to create profiles to connect with your school’s current students. Make sure you consider this module if you are not already using it within CSM, and if you are, make sure students realize how helpful it can be.

Relationships With Their Professors

Many professors, especially for classes required for a specific major, have a ton of real-world experience in that particular field. For instance, if a student is taking a news writing class, there’s a very high chance that professor has worked for a publication before and may even still have close professional connections in that field. Remind your students not to ignore their professors as a potentially useful resource for networking.

Tell your students to develop relationships with their professors – once a student has proven themselves to have initiative, many professors would love to help that student meet important people in the field, or even make a recommendation for that student if a job opening is available from one of the professor’s connections.

Relationships With Their Friends and Peers

Many students see spending time with friends as a relaxing outlet – a reprieve, almost, from worrying about the stresses of school and entering the professional world. Encourage students to reconsider this mindset and realize that their friends and peers can be incredibly valuable resources for networking and making professional connections.

If a student makes an effort to have casual conversation with friends and peers about career aspirations, they could find out that their roommate’s friend’s father is actually a hiring manager at a company the student would love to work at!

Networking needs to be a state of mind and a habit – remind students that low-pressure conversations with friends and classmates could unexpectedly lead to a very favorable outcome in terms of a potential job.

CSM, Career Services

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