“Build your network.”

“Make connections.”

“Use LinkedIn.”

Does this sound like the networking advice you offer your grad?

Parents understand that these tasks are essential to the job search for entry-level positions. However, this advice often falls on deaf ears.

Parents also struggle on how to provide the right resources and connections to help their adult children land the job. For many, they see how much the job search process has changed. And how new industries and job roles have evolved.

Like their job-seeking kids, parents feel the pressure. Could one of their friends help out their son or daughter? Maybe there is a work colleague to assist?

And the graduates today are overwhelmed. Worried that their parents’ advice is dated. And that their parents’ connections will be useless because they are going into a completely different field. They feel the pressure to find a network, build a network, or “network” with their network.

Yet, they don’t know how.

With continued worries about where and how to find a job, one thing has not changed…

PEOPLE HIRE PEOPLE— not a tracking system, computer, or one-way video interview recording.

And the people that hire candidates often try to find someone that they know, directly or through a trusted contact in their network.

So how does a college student or grad build a network? Here are 3 tips:

1. Start with who you know.

Students and grads have an incredible network all around them from fellow students, professors, parents, and alumni. Make a list of these contacts. Reaching out to these contacts can help to form relationships and find opportunities – much more easily than applying online.

2. Get on LinkedIn.

This business social networking site is not just for professionals. LinkedIn enables young job seekers to easily find fellow alumni or contacts at targeted companies of interest. You can find fellow alumni by clicking on the university icon on your profile. You can search for fellow alum by year graduated, major, industry, company, or skill. If you have a limited alumni network, you can target any contacts on LinkedIn using this search technique.

3. Think about 10 and 10.

Contact 10 alumni at 10 different companies who are in the job or field that you want. Ask them how they got started, lessons learned, and about the challenges they face in the job. Share with them your skills and why you want to go into that field. Ask if they can connect you with other colleagues or a hiring manager to learn about opportunities. And always send a thank-you note.

Building a network and making connections is only one part of the process. In order for these connections to be of value to the job search, the grad must be prepared to leverage these relationships by demonstrating their value and explain why they are a great candidate for the job.

If you know a student or grad who needs help with building a network or starting a job search, we are now accepting registrations for the Fast-Start Group Coaching Program starting January 14, 2021. This program helps students and grads focus on a career and learn the secrets of how to land a job. Contact us to learn more.