5 Key Benefits of Early Networking for Students

Did you know that 85% of open job positions are filled through networking? About 70% of people find jobs through a connection at the company.

Looking for a job can be extremely stressful and involve lots of interviews, assessments, and trying to make connections and sell yourself. Keep reading and we will walk you through the five important benefits of student networking.

1. Career Advice and Support

Networking is very helpful at any stage of a career, and one of the most important benefits is continuous career advice and support from connections you’ve built.

As you start to build connections, you will find stronger connections with some people more than others. Even if you don’t end up getting a job out of the connection, you may find a lifelong mentor or friend.

If you’re ever looking to make a career change or want to talk through a difficult work project or situation, you can go this person for advice. It’s always nice to have someone outside your company and team to talk through things.

They also may help connect you to their network if you’re looking for a job. Connections and connections of connections are the key to expanding your network.

2. Job Opportunities

Some students know exactly what they want to do after college, others still don’t know where they want to start their career. Networking will help bring job opportunities you may not have found on your own.

As you build connections, you will talk about your interests, professional goals, and ideal work environment. They are already semi or well into their careers and will have more ideas and opportunities for you.

They also likely have a wide network and can help set you up with opportunities through their network. Sometimes, connections can set you up with an interview before a job is publicly posted all over job sites.

3. References and Referrals

Referrals are the leading source for hiring superior candidates for 88% of employers. Referred candidates end up being a better culture fit than when those that come from other sources.

Your active networking connections become your references and referrals. Referrals are key to getting a first interview and already make you stand out amongst other candidates.

During such a competitive job market, having someone send a positive review before you even have an interview sets a great tone. You will also have an automatic smooth conversation starter where you can talk about how you met your referral.

You will also have a built-in reference. Sometimes, companies will ask to reach out to people you’ve worked with before or professors before they send your offer letter.

Having a referral right off the bat takes the pressure off of those references and shows you’ve made a good impression for someone to want to refer you.

4. Raise Your Profile

You can find regular networking events to attend to get your name out there. Network after work has virtual networking events that are held often and a way to make professional connections online.

You can go to make connections and also provide tips that you’ve learned to help others out.

You will want to follow these tips:

  • Pay attention: Listen to what people are saying, make note of helpful tips, and ways to remember each person
  • Ask for email addresses to stay in touch
  • Send follow ups: Send a quick note to the people you most connected with thanking them for the conversation and adding a personal anecdote to show you were really engaging and listening to what they were saying
  • Offer your knowledge and expertise to those you can help

Getting your name out there will help get you recognized by recruiters. People will remember your name.

You can also join student and alumni groups like the Honor Society. They can help you find internships, jobs, make connections with fellow members, and achieve your goals.

Being a part of student societies like that will also make you stand out because it shows the effort you’re putting into your career and that you worked to be accepted into the program.

5. Get Answers and Confidence

If you build strong connections, you can be confident that you will get an answer to all of your tough questions. You will be able to find someone to help you through an interview assessment or work project.

It’s nice to have people in the professional world to bounce ideas off of and give you the most knowledgeable answer. They’ve likely been in a similar situation at one point in their career and will be able to help.

By putting yourself out there, you are consistently going out of your comfort zone. You will boost your self-confidence as you make lasting connections and this will help with making connections in interview.

Interviews can be emotionally taxing and you want to come across as confident as opposed to nervous and stressed. Networking is great practice for talking and answering questions from people you don’t initially know.

Asking your network to do mock interviews is a helpful exercise. They can walk you through how you can improve and put your best foot forward in your first interviews.

Benefits of Student Networking

Now that we’ve walked through student networking and the benefits of building a strong network, you can start making connections now.

Apply for the Honors Society, join a networking group, or start sending messages to people on LinkedIn that have jobs or work at companies that will help further your career path. You will be surprised at how friendly and receptive people are.

Send your first networking note or keep reading about easy ways to eat healthy when you’re super busy.