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7 Connections That Will Help You On Your Job Hunt After College
Campus Money Diaries

7 Connections That Will Help You On Your Job Hunt After College

I often hear new graduates say networking is a waste of time. 

They tell me, “It's more efficient to apply online than engage in conversations with individuals who may not be able to assist me”

Well, perhaps this may convince you otherwise.

Companies tend to hire more employees through referrals than job postings.

How do you think you are recommended?


The truth is, a powerful network is essential for achieving success in today's job market. There are plenty of resources- articles, posts, and tips providing advice on building your network, such as where to look for people, how and when to initiate contact, and what to say to engage them. This article focuses on who you should have in your network post-college.

No matter what stage of your career you are at, whether you are looking for a job or you have an internship, it is important to build relationships with these top seven people in your network.

Read Also: Why Moving Back Home After College is a Terrible Idea

1. Lecturers

Beyond graduation, you can continue to benefit from lecturers as they become integral to your professional journey! Lecturers can help you land your first job or internship after college. The impression you give them may lead to potential recommendations for professional opportunities. But the benefits do not stop here.

Lecturers can also help you make smart decisions about your career, learn from their experiences, and support you in times of uncertainty. 

In addition, people who establish a connection with their lecturers may benefit from receiving a favorable letter of recommendation. An average letter of recommendation typically outlines one's professional skills and abilities. Nevertheless, an impressive letter communicates your capabilities, character, and attitude to universities and potential employers. Whether you want to enter the workforce or attend graduate school, a lecturer’s endorsement can help you achieve your desired goal. 

It is sufficient to say that the connections you form with lecturers can be beneficial. Taking the time to establish connections with your lecturers and tutors can provide positive benefits during your university experience, as well as post-graduation.

Read Also: 5 Short-term Financial Goals for College Students in Kenya

2. Mentors

When you step out of those campus gates after graduation, things can be tough. Getting a job, taking care of your bills, managing your finances- even your student loan! Navigating all of this can be tricky and, if you're not careful you can have mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, or depression. But remember, some so many people have been where you are now and are willing to help. Connecting with a professional mentor can make a difference. 

If you bonded with a high school teacher then you know how beneficial the trusted relationship was when transiting to college. Mentors help combat uncertainty and offer guidance and assistance to their mentees while they convert from university students to employees. In addition, some mentors might be more familiar with the system of some companies and industries. When it comes to job applications, they can offer the best advice, support, guidance, and networking opportunities.

Another notable benefit of a mentor is the provision of the opportunity to have a sense of belonging, which can be beneficial to recent graduates who may otherwise feel overwhelmed in the job industry.

But how do you find a mentor?

Start by consulting your family and friends to explore if they have any connections that can aid you in your endeavor- you may be surprised by the contacts they have. Another way to find a mentor is by searching social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter to identify an appropriate individual. When looking to connect with potential mentors on social media, first take time to establish a rapport beforehand by engaging with their content and having some preliminary conversations before inquiring about mentorship.

It is important to remember that many people can serve as mentors; however, they will have different perspectives and outlooks on life. It is your job to find someone who helps you see your place in the world and the difference you can make.

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3. College Alumni and Classmates

University education can be costly and we all know it requires dedication. However, many people may not realize it but education is more than the certificates you receive at the end. It is about the lessons learned, the people encountered, and the relationships forged. So why would you expect to leave your college alumni and classmates behind?

Staying connected with other students allows you to develop your career through networking. For example, interacting with former classmates regularly can provide you an opportunity to learn about job openings at their place of work.

Additionally, fellow alumni can help you discover a new passion. You might find that your former classmates may have chosen different professional paths. Through their experiences and insights, you can get a unique view into different career paths.

Besides, fostering meaningful friendships on campus is important for both personal development and well-being. Old friends can provide emotional support and stability during challenging times.

Read Also: Campus Money: Frugal Advice For Fresh College Graduates

4. Target Employees of Your Dream Employers

When it comes to job search, few use the company targeting strategy. This is a shame because it is a powerful job search methodology that is often overlooked. 

Here you identify companies of interest and reach out to the specific department and hiring executives that align with your job search and career goals. For example, if you are looking for a cameraman role in Company A, you will target a director, cinematographer, or any other member of the directing team within Company A. 

But could this highly-specific networking lead to missing out on other great opportunities?

Not at all. Focusing on employees who work at your dream company does not mean you disregard other connections or job search methodologies. It simply means you are crystal clear about the types of organizations, industries, and working environments that you would like to join in the future, and you are prepared to actively pursue them.

Read Also: Changing Careers in 2022? Here is What You Need to Know

5. Professionals Outside Your Industry

Do not discount building connections with professionals in different industries. Generally, people tend to form relationships and expand their horizons with those from their profession. Even though it does not seem important to network with people outside your industry, overlooking this can put you at serious professional risk.

First, if your professional network is limited, you may find fewer options available should you decide to switch career paths or if there is a downturn in your industry or company. 

If you work in finance, it is less probable that connecting with a software engineer will contribute to your bottom line as compared to associating with someone from your field. But this is a game you have to play. Sometimes life takes unexpected turns, like a career change or job loss - and that connection might come in handy. Besides, it is unpredictable who will be part of someone’s network. For example, that software engineer may have attended university with a CEO that you now wish to do business with. 

Another professional risk of not networking with people outside your profession is you become prone to group thinking. You will not be exposed to diverse ideas and points of view.

However, diversifying your professional network is not just about what you will gain from those relationships. The trick is ensuring you are creating a diverse network by adding people from different backgrounds, industries, ethnic groups, and age groups and gaining knowledge from them while fulfilling your personal curiosity. Any professional or financial reward that comes from the relationship should be a happy coincidence.

Read Also: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Job Seekers

6. A Role Model

Examine your network carefully and honestly. Is there anyone who you consider to be an inspirational figure? #goal crusher?

If not, it could be an indication that your network needs an upgrade!

A role model is someone who has achieved goals that you strive to reach: it is an individual whose traits you admire and wish to emulate. You may never meet this person but you admire certain skills that they have. For example, someone might admire and wish to connect and relate with people the way Oprah Winfrey does. 

As a young professional, having a role model in your network can be beneficial in terms of pushing you to work harder, helping you envision your goals, and making your dreams feel attainable. Role models are particularly important if you are a member of a group that is not adequately represented in the workplace as they can boost your confidence.

7. Your Online Audience

Online communities facilitate interactions between people from different backgrounds that were previously inaccessible. Search for groups, blogs, and forums that fit your interests- ones that you would be happy to frequently contribute to and participate in.

You will establish a reputation for yourself on these platforms, and other people may have the ability to support your career goals. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and up to date so that potential connections have the appropriate information. 

Over to You

Now that you know the seven types of people you should have in your network. Your next step is to reflect on your situation.

Ask yourself this: Do I have all seven types of people in my network?

If not, do not worry there is still time. 

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Karuana Mwai is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Nairobi Kenya with a passion for telling business, health, and social justice stories. Find here on LinkedIn

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