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It’s getting colder – warm up your networking skills.

You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again: “it’s all about who you know.” Well, make sure you know someone! We’ve talked before about how the holidays are a great time to network. Since it’s getting colder, what better time to warm up your networking skills?

According to the Career Development Center, 30% of 2010 Loyola grads who landed a job after graduation credited personal networking to landing the job. Similarly, a further 23% of those grads looked to the prior internships and previous employers for securing a position. This just goes to prove how important networking and building relationships is to landing employment after Loyola.

The Career Center at Loyola gives some great tips to take the sting out of the networking process:

  1. Target Your Search: Before you start your job search process, do some research on the market. Choose at least two career targets that are realistic for your level of experience and qualifications. DO NOT communicate that you will accept “any job.” If you reach a dead end with a target, you can always broaden or reformulate your job search target.
  2. Look Everywhere: Once you have job search targets, attend as many meetings, seminars, and events as possible in your chosen target areas. Choose class research projects in your chosen target areas. Look in the library and on the Web for magazines, journals, and databases with information, especially specific company and contact information in your chosen target areas.
  3. Talk to Everyone: Tell everyone you know that you are looking for opportunities in your target areas. Faculty, alumni, and fellow students are often good sources of job leads and industry information. They may not have direct knowledge of a target area, but may know a colleague or acquaintance who does!
  4. Keep a Notebook: It is easy to forget information that you receive from a variety of sources. Keep a job search notebook or database with all leads, contacts, and pertinent information on industries, companies, and general market trends. Write notes on the back of business cards you receive to remember what you discussed with that particular individual.
  5. Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up: The key to a successful job search is persistence. Try to keep in touch with contacts you have met during your education. Send your resume with a friendly note and a case study you may have presented on a company in their industry. Situations change and jobs may open up within their organization or they may hear of an opportunity through a colleague.

The Career Development Center, Alumni Relations, and other schools and colleges at Loyola offer various networking opportunities for students to meet professionals and gain knowledge and contacts. Check out the University Calendar for information about these events.

Want to make sure you’re in the know? Stay tuned to this blog for the most up-to-date information regarding Career Week events, the Job & Internship Fair, tips on how to work the room at a career event, giveaways and more! Join the conversation on the SOC Facebook Page (Loyola University Chicago School of Communication) or on Twitter at @Loyola_SoC. We’ll use #SOCCareer to chat about upcoming career events.