Building A Career-Search Network As A New Graduate

If your time at university comes to an end this term or you are a recent graduate, building a career-search network is a must. That’s because not all job listings are published, and even when they are your connections can make a difference by making sure you find out early, have inside information about what employers are looking for, and gain personal recommendations.

Start by making sure that you collect contact details from those of your current or recent classmates who are clearly motivated and going places. Don’t just say “let’s get together sometime”—make a point of actually doing it. You may even want to formalise this by holding regular job-search strategy sessions over coffee wit a chosen few.

Don’t forget your university lecturers. You will be asking them for references, so it’s important that you talk to them about your plans. They may be able to not only write a good reference but give you tips on where to look, how to present yourself, what to include in your portfolio and so on. They are also highly networked people, with academic and research colleagues scattered all around the country and beyond. Any employers and work colleagues you had while at Uni can also help.

Finally, sit down and list your friends and relations, including your online connections. Not everyone in this category can help you find work, but sometimes an old secondary-school mate or Facebook friend is in a position to do so. Reach out to ask for advice, don’t demand their assistance. The more people know you’re looking, the more likely it is that invaluable tips will come your way.

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About Mitzi Waltz

Dr Mitzi Waltz has recently embarked on working as a freelance disability consultant, trainer and writer, based in Amsterdam. She was previously Senior Lecturer in Autism Studies at The Autism Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, following five years with the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER), University of Birmingham, and a long career as a journalist and journalism educator. She has contributed to many key pieces of autism research and resources, including the DCSF Inclusion Development Programmes on working with children and young people with autism. She has written ten books, the most recent of which is Autism: A Social and Medical History (2013, Palgrave Macmillan).

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