I attended a career development workshop for class recently. The focus was on networking, interviewing, and following up. Since everyone in the class is a senior, it’s all very relevant to us.
For networking, it’s very important to use LinkedIn somewhat actively. Every time you meet someone, add them as a connection, and if you’ve worked with them, ask for a recommendation.
For interviewing, the speaker said it helps to do practice interviews, which my school offers. I don’t think this is that important though, as most interviewers would know they were speaking to college students with little experience of interviews and would let small mistakes slide. And, in my experience, it only takes one actual interview to become confident and familiar with the process. My second interview ever went great (much better than my first), and I didn’t read any tips or get advice on what to do. It’s pretty intuitive.
As part of networking, the speaker said it’s very important to follow up with an email or LinkedIn message later on. LinkedIn messages are better, because they won’t get lost in the ’email abyss’ most people have. Just a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘it was great speaking to you’ can have a great impact. This is something I struggle with, but I know the power of it; people respond very favorably to it.