Imagine that overwhelming feeling of walking in a room full of people who appear know each other and you can’t see a single face you recognise. One thing is for sure, we’ve all been there and as you start your career, the art of networking is a key skill you quickly develop, as is the ability to balance a drink, plate of food, delegate pack, plus your own bag and coat, whilst trying to engage in a conversation with someone who you have may only just met! In the hunt for that elusive first graduate role, your ability to seek out networking opportunities and make relevant connections can help set you apart from the competition and find out about positions which may have not yet been advertised.
Whilst networking might seem a daunting prospect, it is something that you do as part of your personal life without even thinking about it. The principal is exactly the same when it comes to developing a network to find out about jobs! Networking can take on many different guises from attending events and conferences to your social media activity on sites such as LinkedIn. One thing is for sure, taken seriously, networking can be a powerful tool to make a great impression! Here are my top tips for career networking –
- Utilise the careers service to find out about networking events
- Follow companies you are interested in working for on social media sites, often they will advertise events on there
- Swot up before you go to events so you are prepared
- Be friendly and break the ice by finding something you have in common
- Have a business card. Undoubtedly you plan to make a great impression on these people, so why not show them you’re professional as well as easily contactable
- And finally, don’t panic, like everything else networking gets easier with practice. Rest assured you’re not the only person in the room who doesn’t know everyone!
For those of you considering a career in accounting & finance, visit the ACCA website for more information.