Graduate like a rock star #3: Network digitally
My career is certainly a big part of why I’m at uni. But I can’t say I put in nearly enough hours studying, participating in classes or even attending lectures. So when a careers night comes along, I’m normally one of the first to jump on board.
Or at least I used to be. After attending more than a few, you come to realise it is pretty much the same thing every time. If it’s an evening of presentations from industry leaders, they all repeat the same thing (unfortunately it’s none of the topics I’ll be covering in this series!). And if it’s a session of networking, you’re one of hundred other students all fighting for a two-minute conversation with the Google guys while the other brands stand around looking awkward. There’s even a few students who walk around collecting cards, probably so they can send their resume through the next morning. Don’t do that.
At least at a corporate cocktails type event there is a bar.
But that’s OK. You’re a passionate person who’s blogging, which means you’re ready to get your digital networking on.
The first thing you should do is register a LinkedIn account. If you’re not familiar with the setup, essentially LinkedIn lays all your networks out for you allowing you to see who’s connected within the industry. So if you really wanted to get into an agency you can look up the managing director on LinkedIn. You can then see which networks you both have in common. It might turn out that a lecturer of yours taught them and can set up a meeting. Or your old boss knows someone who knows someone who can put in a good word for you. It’s a bit like six degrees of separation.
Secondly, search the blogosphere. There’s a small chance that person you need to know has a blog. If so, fantastic. Drop some engaging and thought-provoking comments on their posts and become a regular reader and contributor. You’d be surprised how many bloggers are keen to catch up for a beer with one of their readers.
If the person you’re after doesn’t blog, maybe someone else at the agency or organisation does. Or perhaps they have a communal blog written by various people like most agencies do. You’d be surprised what a Google Blog Search can turn up.
Finally, Twitter is the other big player at the moment. It’s about to hit its tipping point, so get on board while you can still be considered an early adopter. Find out who are the big players in your field and follow them. Start small but slowly build up some conversation and see where it leads.
These three digital networking tools will hopefully be enough for you to stop you emailing your resume next time you find an agency or organisation you’re interested in.
Network digitally is the third article in the Graduate like a rock star.