Meeting, interacting with, and learning from employers is a key part of the internship and job search. As intimidating as this process can be, researchers estimate that upwards of 70-80% of jobs are not even published but rather distributed based on networking and references. In less formal terms- it’s all about who you know. Luckily, as O’Neill students, we have access to key resources in navigating this process to ensure that students are empowered in researching and communicating with employers in our desired industries.
Arguably the easiest way to connect with employers is via LinkedIn. This free resource allows users to create a profile showcasing their achievements, education, and professional experiences, and invites them to connect with colleagues to create a virtual network for employers, peers, and recruiters to see. Check out this article to learn more about building an impressive LinkedIn profile and improving your current page with checking off these main points. Once your page is established, the efficient search engine allows users to search specific names, companies, positions, general industries, and so much more as a primary exposure and research tool.
By utilizing this resource, students are on a fasttrack to connecting with employers in their desired field. LinkedIn also offers the alumni tool, identifying IU graduates working at specific companies and promoting yet another seamless introduction. More information on navigating this feature can be found here. Once you identify individuals that you want to connect with, reach out with a message about who you are and why you would like to speak with them. Maintain a professional and friendly tone as you interact and just like that, you have added to your network as a young professional.
Another great way of connecting with employers is directly via email. Emails can be obtained through a reference, career fair, O’Neill Partnerships Programs, or other interactions you may have. Check out this article from CNBC that outlines nearly every scenario when reaching out via email, whether it be for general inquiries or a specific position, and describes the professionalism and personable language needed to make a lasting impression. Once they respond, get back to them within 24-48 hours to show that you respect their time and are organized in your communications.
While reaching out to employers may be intimidating, it is a vital part of growing your network as a young professional. Communicating via LinkedIn and email opens a clear line of communication and exposes you to potential new opportunities from professionals that you may not have otherwise encountered. If you are looking for assistance in reaching out to these individuals, creating and maneuvering LinkedIn, or writing a professional email, make an appointment with the O’Neill Career Hub to help.
By Olivia Portolese, Junior, HR Management