Networking is a powerful tool that can help you land an internship or job. Networking allows you to create connections with people who have the power to get your foot in the door at companies and organizations of interest. Networking is important because it connects like-minded professionals, but also provides potential opportunities for mentorships, introductions, and future employment. In this blog post we will discuss how networking can be used as a part of your internship search strategy and why it's so important when looking for jobs or internships!
The Benefits of Internships
Internships make college students more competitive in the job market because they give students a chance to learn skills valued by potential employers. Furthermore, they provide an opportunity for students to assess whether their career field of interest is a good choice for them. Through the internship experience mentors may often be found, providing the student with invaluable advice in the job-search process within the company and in the industry as a whole.
Having internships on your resume will highly increase your chances of landing a job after graduation.
Perhaps the most vital question a college student may ask themselves is how do you land an all-important internship?
The Power of Networking
Networking makes a difference! In a study conducted by NACE, 90% of students who had an internship during college engaged in networking with business professionals.
There are two different types of networking: cold networking and warm networking. Cold networking refers to anyone who does not have a preexisting relationship with you, whereas warm networking means relying on your personal network of family, friends, neighbors, etc. in order to make an introduction between applicant and potential employer.
While any type of connection may be beneficial to students, many might be unaware that cold networking gives students a better opportunity of landing an internship. In fact, students who engage in cold networking are twice as likely to earn an internship than those students only engage in warm networking. Our networks are more than just the people on our list of contacts; they extend far beyond our reach.
How to Network Efficiently
So, how do you engage in cold networking? Great question! This can be achieved by requesting a meeting with business professionals and asking for some time to talk with them about their career. This is called informational interviewing, and with each connection you increase your chances of securing an internship.
A strong online presence may be crucial in these cases. Be sure to utilize your LinkedIn profile, email, and other social media platforms to find contacts as well. When reaching out to distant connections, always send an up-front message with a clear, direct ask, and make it worthwhile for them as well. Show a strong understanding of the other person's time and resources.
When the time comes, be certain to make yourself available for connecting, and remember: your “cold” connection cannot guarantee you anything; they can only help you in the process. So, no matter how small their involvement is with you, make sure to show your gratitude. Every little bit counts!
So there you have it. You've taken the first step by gaining knowledge on how to network to find an internship. Now, we highly recommend that you start making connections right away! And if all this talk about networking is getting a little too much (we can't blame ya), PathMatch is here to help, and we want to help you land that dream job or internship! If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to landing an internship, click here to check out our PathMatch Internship Search Accelerator.
Want more tips and tricks to networking and finding internships? Download the Pathmatch app to discover companies that match your interests, strengths, and goals! Pathmatch can help find the perfect career fit for you!