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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Crossing over - How to move from college to the working world

Networking. Networking. Networking. This word is used quite a bit within our industry and by professors. But how important is networking? In my experience, networking has been vital. In each of my three internships, my initial contact with the company was a result of networking.

If you think of the actual word and its definition, you will see words like interconnected and cross-over. The glory of networking is you are bound to find someone you know who has a connection. And, more than likely, that person will have a connection as well.

First thing first, make a list of people you know - include relatives, neighbors, classmates/co-workers, etc. Let them know you are on the job-hunt and what kind of position you are interested in. E-mail them an updated resume and ask them to distribute it to people they know.

Second, make a list of companies and agencies that sound appealing to you. Research who the appropriate contact is at the company and/or agency and see if that person would be willing to have an informational interview with you, either in person or via teleconference. Informational interviews provide you interviewing experience and valuable feedback on your resume. If the individual you interviewed with is impressed, they may forward your information on to someone in a different department or to a different company all together.

Third, follow up and thank the people who you have spoken with and ask if they would be willing to give you feedback on your resume and interviewing skills.