Posted on: August 2, 2016

Network to Your Dream Career: University Student Resources and Tips

Network to Your Dream Career: University Student Resources and Tips

Job hunting is a part of the student experience, whether it’s a job that you’re needing while you’re at the university or a career that you’re preparing for, post-graduation. In either case, you’ll save time by heading straight to our university career services area, where you can receive career advice, and benefit from employment search resources and workshops to help you develop job search skills. There’s even software that will help you polish your job interviewing skills!

Studies have shown that 60 percent or more of jobs are found via networking! So, when job hunting, it’s important to cast a wide net and let family members, friends, university connections and more know that you’re searching, along with what, specifically, you’re hoping to find. And, when you’re thinking about what personal contacts you have, don’t forget about connections made on social media. describes a range of approaches you can take with these contacts, from simply asking people their advice or directly asking them to provide job leads. And, you need to build momentum. “It helps,” the article points out, “to assign yourself a quota of calls to be made each day. The more phone calls you make the easier it will become.”

Does this make you feel uncomfortable? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s “okay to be awkward.” As an article titled How to Network Your Way to Your Dream Job puts it, “You’ll survive. Stepping out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow, and it’s never as bad as you imagine it will be. And even if it doesn’t go exactly as planned or hoped for, now you have a great story.” brings up another good point: to create a short (20 seconds or less) message that shares what you’re looking for in a job or career and why you’re qualified for this position. You’ll want to “gracefully slip it into conversation” without monopolizing the conversation. Then, when you get a lead from someone, follow up as quickly as possible – and remember to thank everyone who has provided you with leads.

Networking is a Two-Way Street

The ultimate goal of networking is to connect with others and build relationships, not simply to get a job lead. To build relationships, it’s important to:

  • Be authentic: “being you – the real you – should be your goal. Hiding who you are or suppressing your true interests and goals will only hurt you in the long run. Pursuing what you want and not what you think others will like, will always be more fulfilling and ultimately more successful.”
  • Be considerate: “If you’re reconnecting with an old friend or colleague, take the time to get through the catching-up phase before you blurt out your need. On the other hand, if this person is a busy professional you don’t know well, be respectful of his or her time and come straight out with your request.”

University Career Services for Job Hunters

You can rely on Virginia International University when it’s time to find your dream career. We first prepare you for that career with top-quality academic courses taught by world-class faculty – and we also offer an outstanding university career services area, where you can:

  • Receive expert career advice
  • benefit from employment search resources and workshops to help you develop job search skills
  • polish your job interviewing skills using software that we provide

It’s time to turn your dreams into reality! Count on Virginia International University student resources as a crucial stepping stone for your success.