Use your network and online presence to explore your career options and make professional connections.
When considering your future employment or graduate pathway, never underestimate the importance of connecting with others and making your skills visible. A strong online presence will help you to build professional relationships, find opportunities, and promote yourself.
Take the opportunity to seek out industry events and contacts while you study. You could attend company or industry seminars, presentations, open days, or University events and careers fairs.
Make the most of your attendance by signing up for newsletters, taking business cards when they’re offered to you, and making conversation with your peers and industry professionals.
If you attend an event or establish communication with an individual, try to maintain contact if you can. Be careful not to contact them too frequently, but remember that occasional, relevant communication can be well-received.
Examples could include a thank you email following an event, a follow-up question or comment, or a LinkedIn post expressing enthusiasm for a seminar you attended. Make sure that you only contact individuals via professional channels, or through details they gave you directly.
Join professional associations
By joining a professional association, you can attend events and network with professionals in your field. This can help you establish key contacts and provide you with access to exclusive industry news, guest speakers, and mentoring programs.
Sign up for a mentor
A great way to build your professional network is to connect with a professional mentor. Guidance from a mentor can help you to get the most out of your study and to expand your knowledge of future options and strategies post-study. The University has a variety of mentoring programs, explore your options at mentoring.unimelb.edu.au
Research your industry
Read as much as you can about your area of interest to stay on top of current events. You can do this by setting up Google alerts with key search terms, regularly monitoring the business sections of news services or publications, and by visiting national or international sites that report on industry trends.
This information will help you understand what career options align with your interests and skills. It will also help inform the types of questions to ask when communicating with potential clients and employers, and shows that you are interested and committed to the industry.
Build your professional brand
Whether you’re based in Australia or hope to work overseas, your online presence is an important tool you can use to engage employers and stay current in today’s job market.
Get started by building a professional profile as soon as you start university. Include information on your studies, interests, and work experience (volunteering, internships etc), and continue to build your profile over time.
Linkedin is a great place to start developing your online profile. It’s a powerful platform for researching employment pathways, identifying industry contacts, connecting with University alumni, and joining professional interest groups.
Potential employers might also view your personal social media accounts, such as your Facebook or Instagram account. To control access to your personal accounts, consider updating your privacy settings, choosing a less recognisable username, or removing content that you don’t want a potential employer to view.