Navigating the Brutal Job Market: A CMO’s Top 5 Networking Tips for College Students
A job search is always challenging, but for college students seeking summer internships or their first jobs, it’s particularly brutal. The pressure to get relevant experience before graduating is skyrocketing, particularly as the number of entry-level roles seems to be shrinking each year.
I believe that we, as CMOs, need to pave the way for the next generation of marketers, and giving them insider guidance on effective networking is a key step. Here are the top five tips that I’ve been sharing:
1. Treat the job search as a relationship vs a one-time transaction. For your target companies, start laying the groundwork well in advance of when applications are due. Follow the company on social media, like or comment on a post, reach out to the internal recruiter on LinkedIn, sign up for a newsletter. Remember “demonstrated interest” from your college search days? Same idea here.
2. Using a networking contact from your family, neighbors, or friends isn’t “selling out”. It doesn’t get you the job, but it may help your resume get to the top of a very large pile. Take the assistance—you’ll still have to sell yourself to the employer if you get the interview.
3. Use your time wisely. Submitting blind job applications through LinkedIn and other job sites may seem productive but often isn’t. And a steady stream of rejections can be soul sucking. Wherever possible, avoid the urge to apply for everything in sight and focus your energy on finding a way to stand out in the companies or sectors that you’re really excited about.
4. Be courteous to your contacts and respectful of their time. If you score an exploratory or networking call, be on time and well prepared with questions. Always send a short thank you note. And if your new contact provides an introduction to someone else, follow up quickly. You may only get one shot at grabbing someone’s attention.
5. Be open to different paths. Despite your best efforts at finding your dream job, the universe may have different plans for you at this time. Stay open to new opportunities. A single internship or job won’t define you or your career; what you learn from the job search experience, however, builds resilience and can lead to unexpected career paths.
Friends, if this list resonates with you, please share it with a college student in need. And if I’ve missed anything, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments. Most importantly, if a job-hunting student reaches out with a networking request, please take a moment to help. Remember, good karma is a boomerang.
Looking for expert advice of your own from seasoned marketing pros? Contact me on LinkedIn or visit us at www.CMOSyndicate.com to learn more.
About The CMO Syndicate
The CMO Syndicate is a diverse group of world-class Chief Marketing Officers who rapidly solve growth and profit problems for CEOs, VCs, CMOs, and PE firms. As global CMOs from the world’s top companies, The CMO Syndicate is not a traditional marketing consulting agency, and we are not typical marketing or growth consultants. We are growth experts and operators who actually do the work on a part-time or project basis as outsourced fractional and interim CMOs.