I would like to welcome my guest blogger Samantha Laliberte. She is a graduate from Western University and currently working at the London Economic Development Corporation. One of Samantha’s passions is the ‘power of networking’, which she attributes to the success she’s seen in her career so far. Samantha is taking the lead on the Student 2 Business Networking Conference and hoping to see 600 post-secondary students out for her March 6th event.
Networking Your Way Into the Hidden Job Market
Fast facts: 98% of all Ontario companies have less than 50 employees and it’s estimated that 70% of job opportunities are not posted through online databases.
So what? Networking is becoming increasingly more important for those entering AND moving within the workforce, but it doesn’t have to be as daunting as many students think!
Here are my 5 favorite networking rules to live by:
- Get offline. While LinkedIn is definitely convenient and less intimidating, it can never replace the one on one connection you can build in-person. Attend professional networking events to showcase your firm handshake, genuine smile, and personality that just cannot be revealed online.
- Be proactive. Don’t network for the sole purpose of finding a job, and don’t wait until you need one! Create your professional network and build a foundation of mentors early on.
- Ask, and you shall receive. Know what you’re looking for and say it! Leave the other person with something to think about and a way to help you out. If they you make a positive impression, they’ll want to.
- Think big. Don’t limit networking opportunities to just conferences and events, networking can be anywhere! Although it takes effort, be optimistic when meeting new people in different settings and make an effort to leave memorable, positive impressions.
- Just do it. Don’t over think the conversation- just get it started. You’ll be surprised how many people want to hear about your dreams, your experiences, and how they can help.
I encourage you to test your skills and take a leap into the world of networking by attending the Student 2 Business Networking Conference on March 6th, 2013. This unique, professional, and dynamic event will bring together 600 students and 300 employer representatives; a major opportunity to connect in a well-orchestrated setting. Registration is $10 and available with full conference details online at s2b.ca.