We caught up with Chris Knight, Undergraduate Placement Relationships Manager from WBS CareersPlus, who has highlighted his top tips on how you can expand your network and develop new contacts, all from the comfort of your home.
Were you looking forward to attending some employer networking events over the next few months, or perhaps you were registered to attend some face-to-face recruitment sessions during term 3 which you can no longer attend? Well, do not worry as there are plenty of alternative ways that you can continue to build your professional connections remotely.
Make use of LinkedIn and the my.wbs alumni
Are you on LinkedIn? If you already are, that’s great – this is the perfect time to update your profile and get connecting with any existing or new contacts on there. If not, now is the time to join! You will find that a lot of alumni will be more than happy to connect with you, offer advice and most likely reminisce about their time at WBS via virtual correspondence. With both LinkedIn and the my.wbs alumni database, you can liaise with a wide variety of people from all different sectors and company sizes, ranging from small local start-ups to large international organisations.
Attend online events and webinars
Some employers will move their networking and recruitment events online over the coming months. Keep a look out on resources such as MyAdvantage and TargetJobs events to view any events which may be of some interest.
Additionally, it is also worth directly checking out the recruitment and careers pages of any employer’s websites and their social media platforms to see if they are running any upcoming events online. EY and their series of online webinars and drop-ins, Grant Thornton, Airbus and JP Morgan are a few examples of companies who have already started offering virtual networking events and webinars to university students. Some may have already taken place but do keep checking their websites as they may create more over the coming months.
If you are thinking of applying for postgraduate study and are finding that some universities have cancelled their upcoming open days, then check out the Prospects website to see what virtual postgraduate study fairs are due to take place. Some universities may promote their virtual open days directly on their own websites as well, WBS does for example and you find out about our events here.
Make use of the following resources
For all undergraduate students, the following links may be useful to take a look at:
- Check out Luan Wise’s YouTube channel for some useful videos on how best to present yourself across your social media platforms
- The following blog on Online Volunteering, written by central Student Opportunities, provides some good advice on how to volunteer remotely and gain some new connections through taking part in these types of activities going forward
- Take a look at the RateMyPlacement article on 'How to boost your employability whilst self-isolating'
If you are a current undergraduate student seeking a placement or internship at the moment, then the following resources may also be useful:
- Check out RateMyPlacement’s YouTube video on 'Building your personal brand'. There are some useful hints and tips that will get you thinking of different things to include on your social media profiles and how to positively present yourself online
- RateMyPlacement have also written an article on how coronavirus is affecting placements, internships and insight programmes which I would recommend taking a look at
The WBS CareersPlus undergraduate team are also here to help you during these uncertain times with anything related to careers (including answering queries and providing advice on virtual/remote networking). Whilst the team may be working from home, we continue to offer one-to-one support by email, phone or Skype. All you need to do is email us with your support request at firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the team can back to you to organise a suitable time.
In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and happy online networking!