Networking is essential

Cory Sparks, Editor in Chief

Courtesy of UWO Flickr
Creating professional connections can help provide students with more job opportunities.

As many UW Oshkosh students come to the realization that they’ll be graduating, receiving their degree and moving into the workforce, I cannot stress the importance of networking.

While it is equally as important to load one’s portfolio with relevant content and workshop a resume until it is either perfect or one cannot look at it anymore after all of the alterations, sometimes who you know is just as important as what you know.

I am still a full year out from graduation, but I feel that in my junior year of college I have heard more about the importance of making connections than I ever have in the other 19 years of my life combined.

Recently, I’ve discovered and been told of a few different outlets available to UWO students who want to create professional relationships within their work industry.

Create a linked in

While LinkedIn may seem like an odd hybrid between simultaneously applying for many jobs and starting up a new Instagram profile, it is such a useful tool.

When making a LinkedIn profile, the first course of action will be to state job experience, education history and general skills that you have which you feel will be of value to a future employer.

When I made my LinkedIn, I picked out some of the phrasing utilized in my resume and then altered it to fit a broader market of employers.

Insert a professional picture of yourself, an appropriate background and let the algorithm go to work.

From there, you can look up people in your preferred industry or individuals you know. This can serve as a way to get references or even set up a potential job opportunity.

Talk to your professors

While professors are here to instruct and share their expertise on a certain subject, they can also make for great resources.

Professors for each person’s major, at the very least, got a degree in their major. On the way up, they’ve surely met people in that industry.

If they’re a tenured professor, they’ve met people locally and know alums who have their foot in the door.

To combine this point with another, adding a professor on LinkedIn won’t hurt. They will sometimes promote job postings, and if a certain job is hiring, they may think of one of their newest LinkedIn connections.

Talk to fellow students

Talking to other students who have the same or a similar major is inevitable when it comes to group projects and on-campus involvements, but getting their contact information can be of even greater benefit.

Whether someone graduates before, after or at the same time as someone else applying for jobs related to that degree, making a connection with them and being a decent person to them can help both parties in the long run.

Be a resource to others

Just as it’s important to compile resources, it’s just as crucial to be that helping hand to someone else.

One’s life and situation can change in an instant, and having an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” relationship can help both parties for years to come.

Once again, I’ll connect this back to LinkedIn. Add these people on LinkedIn, tell them about job offers and they’ll likely feel compelled to return the favor if the opportunity presents itself.