You should be building your network over time during your course, so that by the time you leave university and apply for jobs in the graduate market, you have your network in place. Networking is not ‘using people’ because you will also one day be in a position to help your contacts. Be as specific as possible when talking to people in your network about the kind of work you are looking for. You can’t assume that they will know exactly what you’re after unless you tell them.

Start building your network through:

• talking to family (include uncles, aunts, cousins, distant relatives) and friends

• joining a relevant professional association and attending activities and seminars they offer

• joining La Trobe University student associations

• joining other clubs/groups related to your interests

• talking to your lecturers and tutors

• undertaking work placements and keeping in touch with contacts made during your placements

• volunteering

• keeping business cards and following up

• extra-curricular activities (programs, mentoring),

• keeping in touch with fellow employees (if you already have a part-time job)

• setting up a LinkedIn profile

Find out more…

Why networking matters and how it works

Why you must have an elevator pitch